The WHO and the Ministry of Health are conducting a series of integrated surveillance training in four priority Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties ahead of the projected El Nino rains.
The four counties; Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera are expected to face an upsurge of water and vector-borne diseases during the rainy season.
The training is geared towards preparing frontline healthcare workers to detect, investigate and manage infectious diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, cholera and Rift Valley fever (RVF).
It also seeks to enhance early detection of drought and flood-related health conditions, build the capacity of the healthcare workers on case management as well and heighten surveillance in emergency situations.
“The training will freshen their knowledge on how to detect and manage the key diseases that we are worried about,” said Dr Diba Dulacha, the Infectious Hazards Officer for WHO Kenya, while supporting the training in Wajir this week.
150 health professionals, including nurses, lab technologists, public health officers and doctors, have been trained in Wajir, Garissa and Marsabit. The training is set to commence in Mandera soon.
“This training comes in a timely manner as weather forecasting of El Nino rains is predicted to create favourable ecosystems for outbreak occurrence. The Department of Health also received a cholera eradication plan that aims to serve as a guide during cholera response to reduce cholera deaths and eliminate cholera in the country", said Public Health Director Ibrahim Hassan.
El Nino is a climate phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and its effects can influence weather patterns worldwide.
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