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Casual workers join medics to offer treatment as Cholera outbreak hits Siaya

NYANZA
By Olivia Odhiambo | November 3rd 2015

SIAYA: Over 20 people have been hospitalised at the Siaya County Referral Hospital following a fresh cholera outbreak.

Acting Siaya Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Geoffrey Mwai reported that majority of the patients are from Anduro village in Usonga and Pandi estate in Siaya.

This comes barely a few days after The Standard highlighted a story where one person had died and six others were hospitalised.

According to health workers, the outbreak is spreading real fast but little effort is being put in place to contain the situation. But Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga said he has given orders for all nurses on leave to be recalled to help contain the situation.

"We are receiving overwhelming number of patients since Sunday night, but it has not been easy to manage since we lack the basic prevention equipment like gloves, disinfectant and chlorine. We are also suffering understaffing that has seen several casual workers join the trained medical workers to help with situation especially at night," Mwai said.

He said that they are working hard to contain the situation pointing that they have also resorted to using the amenity wing as a separate ward for the casualties.

Dr Mwai revealed that should the situation go on for long, they are bound to face drugs shortage and appealed to other health partners for more drug donations.

"If the number of cases increases we will be forced to look for other ways to accommodate the affected since the space at the amenity has only a bed capacity of 22. Residents are advised to maintain high levels of hygiene and at all times ensure they drink safe water," Mwai said.

The medical superintendent however disputed the fact that there was a shortage of staff prompting the casual workers to help.

A spot check at the county referral has revealed that indeed the number of cholera patients is high with the beds at the amenity almost getting filled.

Last week on Friday after a cholera outbreak the county director of health Samuel Omondi had said that the cases reported were from Anduro, Hono and Randago estates in Siaya.

"We have taken drastic measures in an effort to contain the disease to prevent its spread all over the county. All the health officials and community health workers are at the grounds in the affected areas chlorinating water sources that are suspected to be the origin of the disease," he had said.

This year the county has recorded over 80 cases of cholera with residents being urged to construct pit latrines especially those who do not have any.

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