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Water-borne diseases cost Kenya Sh27b annually

TURKANA COUNTY: Treatment of diseases spread through poor hygiene and sanitation costs the country Sh27 billion annually, a report by the Public Health ministry reveals.

Director of Public Health John Kariuki said it is regrettable for the country to lose billions of shillings in treatment of water-borne diseases that could easily be avoided.

Speaking at Kainuk Health Centre in Turkana County during the commissioning of waste incinerators, Kariuki said money wasted on treatment of such diseases could instead be used to provide other health services in rural areas.

This, he said, could be achieved only if the national and county governments focus more on improving sanitation and promoting good hygiene practices among Kenyans. The incinerators were constructed by World Vision, USAID and the Ministry of Public Health.

PREVENTIVE HEALTH

“The improvement of good hygiene practices and improved sanitation will help the national and county governments save billions of shillings going to waste on the fight against water-borne diseases,” he said

Kariuki noted that Sh94 million is enough to improve worrying state at sanitary facilities and homes and save the country more money.

He said strains to put up more hospitals and health facilities will be tackled if the county governments emphasised on preventive health care at homes and public facilities.

Kariuki said 94 per cent of diarrhoea cases are preventable through proper sanitation and good hygiene and that the disease is responsible for deaths of 89,000 children yearly in the country.

 “5.6 million people in the country have no latrines at all and defecate in the open,” he said.

USAID agriculture business and energy office Director Mark Carrato said access to safe drinking water, good hygiene and sanitation reduces the risk that undernourished children succumb to.

“We know that access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene makes children more resilient. That is why we want to ensure that children in this region are protected from preventable diseases,” he said.

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