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New cholera cases in Nairobi, Mandera as death toll rises

 11, 872 cholera cases have been reported in the country since October last year. [iStockphoto]

At least 10 cases of cholera have been reported in the country in the last 10 days, with children below the age of 10 years being the most affected.

The cases have been reported in Nairobi and Mandera counties. According to the cholera situation report by the Ministry of Health, Mandera is leading with eight cases, followed by Nairobi with two cases.

The two cases bring to a total of 11, 872 reported in the country since October last year.

"In the past 10 days, 10 cases were reported nationwide in the following two counties (active outbreak): Mandera (8), and Nairobi (2)," reads a section of the Ministry's cholera situation report dated July 25, 2023.

Cholera cumulative deaths stand at 194. "Among the 194 deaths reported, 78 (40 per cent) are from Nairobi, and Tana River counties, while Garissa and Wajir account for 35 (18 per cent) deaths in total," adds the report.

An outbreak of cholera was reported in October last year in Kiambu County. The disease has since spread across 26 counties namely; Garissa (2,853), Mandera (2,243), Nairobi (2,173), Wajir (944), Tana River (780), Kiambu (539), Machakos (491), Kajiado (398), Homa Bay (335), Mombasa (210), Siaya (162), Meru (138), Uasin Gishu (137), and 112 in Marsabit.

Other counties battling the disease include Samburu (60), Kisumu (56), Nyeri (55), Murang'a (46), Isiolo (31), Kitui (27), Kirinyaga (17) West Pokot (16), Kwale (16), Nakuru (15), Busia (11), and Bomet (6).

According to the report, 6,239 of the cases representing 53 per cent of the cumulative cases are males, whereas 5,633 (47 per cent) are females. In the report released by the Ministry of Health, most cases are of children below the age of 10 years.

Nairobi and Garissa lead with the number of deaths at 40 per cent (78 cases), whereas Garissa and Wajir account for 35 (18 per cent of deaths) in total. The number of men who have died from the disease is higher than females, according to the report.

Of the 194 cumulative deaths, at least 135 representing 70 per cent are males while 59, representing 30 per cent, are females.

Affected communities

The Ministry of Health, counties and partners are implementing critical outbreak response interventions in the affected communities to prevent deaths and cases.

The affected communities are also being sensitised about the disease, its spread, treatment and prevention. Other interventions include mobilising additional resources for the implementation of the response plan, scaling up surge support and operationalisation of the rapid response in the counties, and continued cholera preparedness including prepositioning of supplies.

Plans are also in place to procure and supply essential medical equipment and supplies for healthcare facilities. In March this year, the Health Ministry launched an oral cholera vaccination in epidemic counties of Nairobi, Wajir, Garissa and Tana River counties where at least 2.2 million people were vaccinated.

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