The heavy rains and widespread flooding currently sweeping across the country, attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon, have triggered heightened concerns among health experts.
The inundation of communities, displacement of populations, and the compromised sanitation infrastructure pose a significant risk of increased viral diseases.
As floodwaters continue to submerge large areas, there is a growing worry that waterborne diseases, including viral infections, may surge in the coming weeks.
Director Public Health and Sanitation Kisumu County Fredrick Oluoch said over 12000 households have been submerged and more than 30,000 households at high risk.
Oluoch observed, the displacement of communities and overcrowded temporary shelters may facilitate the rapid spread of respiratory viruses, such as influenza, limited access to clean water, and compromised hygiene conditions create an environment conducive to the transmission of these infectious diseases.
The crisis is exacerbated by critical shortages of food and medicine, displaced families are urgently urging the government for permanent relocation to prevent the recurrent loss of lives and property.
Oluoch urged communities affected by the flooding to take preventive measures, including the use of mosquito nets, proper disposal of waste to prevent stagnant water accumulation, and promoting good hygiene practices. Additionally, authorities are working to ensure the availability of medical supplies to address potential outbreaks.
“Health clinics and hospitals are on high alert, ready to respond to any uptick in cases. Community outreach programs are being implemented to educate residents on the importance of personal hygiene, and seeking medical attention promptly if they experience symptoms of any viral illness,” Oluoch stated.