Three dead as Wajir struggles to tackle cholera

Siriba cholera treatment centre has registered the highest number of patients. [Ismail Noor, Standard]

The second wave of the cholera outbreak in Wajir County has hit Siriba and Biyamadhow regions killing three more people to take the death toll to nine in under two weeks. Six patients died a week ago in the county.

Siriba cholera treatment centre has registered the highest number of patients, 135, while 213 have tested positive for the disease in Biyamadhow.

Speaking to the Standard, Wajir Health County Health CEC Habiba Ali said of the nine deaths, two occurred at the treatment centres, with the other four victims died before being admitted to the facility.

Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Mohamed cautioned the residents against unhygienic practices and cautioned patients against sneaking out of treatment centres before getting discharged.

"We have set up a cholera treatment centre at Siriba and Biyamadhow, stationed a standby ambulance there, piped water from the boreholes to the centre with a water bowser ready to complement it if need be, provided food for the affected, and are setting up two water kiosks in Siriba Town," Ahmed said.

Meanwhile, elders drawn from Siriba have called on the county not to close Biyamadhow camp despite the number of patients admitted decreasing to 13 warning that the move could hamper the fight against the disease.  

Habiba Ali with health workers at a cholera treatment centre in Wajir County. [Ismail Noor, Standard]

According to the county government, there is no cause for alarm as they have posted enough personnel who are supported by 11 staff seconded to the centre by the Red Cross.

"We brought pharmaceuticals, put up tents, provided food for 100 households, and provided staff; we will work together with the county government for a period of three months to prevent more loss of life," said Abdinoor Hussein, Chairman Kenya Red Cross-North Eastern.

Aside from cholera, Wajir County is currently battling an outbreak of anthrax and a biting drought that has resulted in the deaths of livestock.

Wajir Deputy Governor says the county has pumped money into relief food, cash transfers, massive water trucking, a revolving fund, and school feeding programs to mitigate the mounting problems.

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