The Ministry of Health has alerted the Kenyan public to an outbreak of cholera in various parts of the country.
The acting Director General for Health in the Ministry of Health, Patrick Amoth, has confirmed this.
The Health Ministry traced the epicentre of the outbreak to a wedding festival in Kiambu County has since spread across 6 counties where 61 cases have been reported so far in Kiambu (31), Nairobi(17), Murang’a (1), Kajiado (2), Nakuru (2) & Uasin Gishu(8) counties.
he National Public Health Microbiology Laboratory has isolated Vibrio cholera-01-Ogawa as the responsible serotype.
The ministry has directed all County & Sub-County Health Management Teams under the County Directors of Health to notify immediately all health workers of the alert, & watch out for patients presenting with watery diarrhoea of acute onset.
The government has also advised the county health management to conduct an active search for acute watery diarrhoea in health facilities and within the communities for missed/unreported cases, & strengthen surveillance activities up to the village level.
They should also ensure 100 per cent case-based reporting, strengthen the involvement of laboratory personnel in disease surveillance for timely confirmation as well as ensure that all health workers are conversant with the case definition and are sensitised on potential Cholera outbreaks.
According to Amoth, Sub-county health management teams will also be expected to step up weekly IDSR reporting to ensure that over 90 per cent of facilities are reporting, enhance sharing of information between sub-counties & conduct support supervision on a more regular basis.
The Sub-county health management teams are also expected re-activate the outbreak management teams at all levels, improve lab capacity for specimen collection & shipment, and enhance the involvement of other stakeholders e.g county & sub-county commissioners, communities, water agencies & partners.
Other measures include developing an appropriate preparedness & response plan for sub-counties to prevent the propagation of any potential outbreak & plan for sustained contact tracing, ensuring isolation of cholera cases in the wards and strengthening community sensitisation.