Clean toilets and constant supply of water reduce trachoma cases in Kitui County


Bio-septic toilet being cleaned. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Cases of trachoma in Kitui county have drastically reduced thanks to an initiative to boost good sanitation.

Joseph Mutisya, a cataract surgeon noted that the county has ensured a constant supply of water to residents and clean toilets.  

The county government pumps water from Athi River and supplies it to locals in Kitui South and Kitui Rural.

“Though not every homestead is connected to piped water, at least, they can access the commodity, unlike 20 years ago, when they were forced to walk tens of kilometres,” explains Mutisya, adding, “this is what has helped us improve sanitation.”  

According to the 2019 Census, in 2012, only about 70 per cent of the households had toilets. Currently, total toilet coverage stands at 95 per cent.

Mutisya added that in 2012, trachoma cases stood at 4,200, but drastically reduced to 1,800 and are currently below 1,000. The most affected areas include Mwingi North, Kitui Central, Kitui Rural and Mwingi Central. 

“We do not have active trachoma, which means the disease is no longer being transmitted. We are happy that we have successfully fought the disease that used to affect the elderly,” he said. 

He added that they hold counseling sessions for the elderly, who have to be operated on, and regular sensitization by community health volunteers.  

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