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Wajir launches 10-day cholera vaccination drive

 A man being vaccinated against cholera in Wajir County. [File, Standard]

Wajir County has today announced a 10-day vaccination campaign to protect the population from this potentially fatal illness.

The drive launched today by the Department of Health in Buna Sub-county will conclude on August 12.

The targeted population is persons aged one year and above.

Cholera, a bacterial infection spread through contaminated water or food, poses a severe threat to public health.

Rapidly affecting communities, it can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration, and even death if left untreated.

The first cholera outbreak was reported in the country in October 2022 with 26 counties including our very own Wajir reporting the outbreak.

The first round of the campaign was conducted in February with a 99.2 per cent national administrative coverage achieved while 99.4 per cent was achieved in Wajir county from the two targeted sub-counties of Wajir South and Wajir East.

Nationally the country has reported a total of 11,861 cholera cases with 194 deaths. In Wajir the first case of cholera was reported on 19th November 2022 in Darfur - Wajir South. As of 1st August 2023, the county has reported a total of 958 cases.

The outbreak has been reported in all six sub-counties; Wajir South 71% (677) Wajir East 7% (65), Wajir West 2% (22), Eldas 8% (85) Tarbaj (5) 0.4% and Wajir North 11% (104) Sub-Counties, with only Eldas being active and reporting one case within the last 10 days. A total of 18 deaths have been reported in the county so far.

To curb the spread of cholera and mitigate future outbreaks, the county government, in collaboration with its development partners, has taken proactive measures that include establishing a multi-disciplinary rapid response team at both County and Sub-County levels for increased surveillance and contact tracing, setting up of Cholera treatment centers in areas affected by the outbreak.

The county has also procured the essential pharmaceutical and non - pharmaceutical for the management of cholera cases, distributed commodities to promote water treatment and hand washing, and public sensitisation among other measures.

Presiding over the launch today, the County Chief officer for medical and health services Mohamed Abdullahi Guhad called on the public to be vigilant and observe strict hygiene practices during this critical time.

The chief officer expressed his appreciation to the various partners among them, the World Health Organization, Save the Children, The Kenya Red Cross Society, UNICEF, World Vision International, and WASDA for their continued support in curbing the spread of the disease.

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