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Home / Health & Science

Kenya’s cholera death toll at 65, Cabinet told

Health & ScienceBy GATONYE GATHURA And Kibiwot Koross | Fri,May 22 2015 00:00:00 UTC | 2 min read

NAIROBI: At least 65 people have died of cholera across the country, the Cabinet was told Thursday.

During a meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday at State House in Nairobi, the Cabinet was further told that 3,234 cases of cholera have been reported in 11 counties since December last year.

It was noted that the major contributing factor to the spread of cholera is poor sanitation, especially in informal settlements.

Consequently, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia was directed to take measures to stem further spread of cholera.

County governments were also urged to institute measures to contain the outbreak in their respective regions by enhancing health education.

And separately, the national government yesterday told county health authorities to take decisive action, including banning street foods and unhygienic food outlets, to stop the cholera outbreak.

Principal Secretary for Health Dr Khadija Kasachoon told senior health officials from national and county governments to use all legal tools at their disposal to stem the cholera outbreak.

Some country health officials had complained that it had become impossible to take necessary measures because of opposition from politicians.

Chief Health Public Officer Kepha Ombacho, who toured Kibra yesterday morning, said street food was still being prepared on top of sewers despite a ban against such foods.

"This must stop and it is not negotiable. We must stop street foods in Kibra within a week," Dr Ombacho told the meeting.

Dr Kasachoon said public health officials have the legal backing to take any action they deem necessary in saving human lives.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Rafael Muli, the Nairobi County disease surveillance co-ordinator, said they had to flee from Korogocho during one of their missions when they met gangs cleaning guns in broad daylight.

During the long-day meeting, it emerged that health systems in some counties have been overwhelmed by the disease.

Nakuru Country has had the highest cholera death toll among the 11 affected countries. There has been 16 deaths from 199 cases with 70 per cent being males mainly aged between 25 and 45.

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