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County health officials deny cholera scare in Taita Taveta

By Renson Mnyamwezi | Published Fri, January 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 22nd 2018 at 12:48 GMT +3
Truck clears stinking garbage piles at Kongowe'as "Uwanja wa Mbuzi grounds" in Coast following reports of Cholera outbreak. [Photo by Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]

Government and county health officials have denied claims of a cholera outbreak.

Residents had reported that at least 20 people, among them primary school pupils, were being treated at Mata Health Centre after developing cholera symptoms.

Led by Mata village elder Shapashina Modukenya and youth leader Paul Parit, they claimed that the outbreak had affected learning in primary schools.

But public health officials dispatched to the area denied claims that there was an outbreak, saying what the patients had been treated for was diarrhoea, not cholera.

The Taveta sub-county public health officer, Jira Mwanyadi Dalu, said eight people had been confirmed to be suffering from diarrhoea and not cholera, as claimed by residents.

“What I can confirm to you is that eight people, among them three primary school pupils, have been treated for diarrhoea at Mata location. Water samples have also been taken to Mombasa for further analysis,” said the official.

Further analysis

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County Commissioner Kula Hache advised residents with symptoms of the waterborne disease to visit the nearest health facility.

“There is no cholera outbreak in the region. In case of diarrhoea, people should visit the nearest hospital for treatment,” said the commissioner.

Public health officials said cases of diarrhoea in the area were common because of unsafe drinking water.

“There is no running water in the affected area. Residents use stagnant water, which is not safe for human consumption, and this can be the main cause of the disease,” said Mr Dalu.

He added that his department had been conducting public forums to sensitise residents on the need to boil drinking water to avert a cholera outbreak. 

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