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Kenya needs to contain food poising

By The Standard | Published Tue, December 20th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 19th 2016 at 22:15 GMT +3
Bomet Senator Wilfred Lesan consoles one of the 200 residents who were taken ill after consuming stale food during a pass out ceremony of new initiates at Kamureito in Kipsonoi Ward of Sotik Constituency. Three people died due to what doctors say was dehydration. PHOTO: GILBERT KIMUTAI

Cases of villagers dying after eating contaminated food are on the rise across the country. Often, such incidents occur where large groups of people are gathered for ceremonies although there are cases where hunger has driven families to eat wild fruits or expired food, thus endangering their lives.

The latest incident in Sotik, Bomet County in which three people died while more than 200 were admitted to hospital despite the ongoing doctors strike raises the question; what is the role of the public health sector in society?

This aspect of healthcare appears to be inactive as public health officials rarely carry out their duties. In the midst of large-scale chemical use in agricultural production, lack of public awareness on hygiene and the effects of the toxins left on produce like vegetables and fruits exposes many to deaths from food poisoning.

Notably too, public health officials have in many cases failed to execute their duties by allowing villagers to feast on uninspected meat, contrary to regulations that demand all meat must be examined for anthrax before getting the stamp of approval from public health officials. Kenya cannot afford to continue losing lives to ignorance and negligence, and this is possible if the public health sector wakes up.


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