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Medics issue warning over recurring UTIs, STDs


Irene (not her real name) in her late 20’s has been battling urinary tract infections (UTI) for over three years now.

She has been in and out of many hospitals trying to get a solution to the problem but when treated, it reoccurs again, something that has caused her too much pain.

Persistent lower back pain when urinating, frequent urge to urinate and passing urine that has a strong odour are some of the uncomfortable conditions she has had to contend with. She says her urine also appears cloudy.

 “I was dumped by my fiancé since I kept on infecting him whenever we had sex. This condition has robbed me of my womanhood and I don’t know what to do. When I get treatment, the condition goes away for some time and then come back,” said Irene.

Irene is among the many women in the country who are suffering silently but have limited options in managing the condition.

Besides UTI, tonsillitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and intestinal worms are some of the diseases that many people have been unable to manage since they keep on recurring after treatment.

Medics have sounded an alarm over the increasing number of Kenyans visiting health facilities looking for ways to help themselves get rid of the diseases that have given them sleepless nights.

In fact, medics aver that the diseases can be easily managed if Kenyans will avoid irresponsible sex, seek early treatment and keep the environment within which they live clean.

According to Dr Joshua Azere, a gynaecologist at Kakamega County Teaching and Referral hospital, to avoid the recurrence of a urinary tract infection, when one is treating the disease, the patients must make sure that their sexual partners are also treated despite not exhibiting the symptoms.

Dr Azere avers that it's recommended that when patients are on UTI treatment, they need to abstain from sex until such a time the infection is completely cleared.

He said if you have sex before the infection is cleared, you may irritate the urinary tract and push the bacteria into the urethra and worsen the condition.

“UTIs are not sexually transmitted and people with the disease cannot pass it on to their partners but the risk involved can be dire. When one has sex while the infection is still present, it increases the risk of introducing more bacteria into the urinary tract. Frequent sex for females is also a risk factor,” said Azere.

Azere said that women are more susceptible to the disease as a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, saying one can also get it from toilets that are poorly maintained.

Prof Gordon Nguka, a Clinical Nutritionist and Dietetics from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), majority of recurring diseases are caused by poor sanitation and failure to change the environment after treatment.

Prof Nguka said that the pelvic inflammatory disease is brought about by UTI and bacterial infection as well as sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and mycoplasma genitalium,” Prof Nguka

Chlamydia can cause infection among men and women that can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system and can make it difficult for impossible to get pregnant later. It’s also potential for fatal ectopic pregnancy. Mycoplasma genitalium is an STD that can cause urogenital disorder.

On Tonsillitis, Nguka said that it's brought about by viral infection with common symptoms being sore throat, difficulty swallowing and swollen tonsils.

Prof Nguka said the disease is also caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that causes skin infection.

“The disease causes the skin to produce boils, redness of the skin and blisters and its spread by skin to skin contact and those at risk are people working in crowded areas. The condition is brought about with reduced immunity levels and the immunity, “said Nguka

Nguka said intestinal worms cause abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea and unexplained weight loss saying it can be treated on medication but can recur due to poor sanitation.

“A person with intestinal worms may also experience dysentery which is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhoea with blood and mucus in the stool,” he said.

Eileen Mulaa, a nutritionist, said recurring diseases like PID, UTI and tonsillitis among others can be boosted by eating food that is rich in Vitamins A, E, D, K and C.

Ms Mulaa, the Enafit Wellnes Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said fruits like oranges, pawpaws, mangoes, and indigenous vegetables like the black night shade are rich in the required vitamins.

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