Child dies of cholera as 73 others fall ill in Homa Bay

Wadiang’a beach in Sindo Town where several cases of cholera have been confirmed.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group.

One person has died and several others have been hospitalised following a cholera outbreak in Suba, Homa Bay County.

The deceased is a seven-year-old girl from Wadiang'a Beach in Kaksingri West ward.

Health officials said she died after losing a lot of water from her body as she was admitted to the hospital suffering from dehydration.

Laboratory tests

Laboratory results on the cause of death confirmed that she died of cholera.

Chief Health Officer Kevin Osuri said the death could have been avoided had the child been taken to hospital in time.

"She was taken to the hospital when she was overwhelmed by the disease. Despite showing signs of cholera, her family failed to take her for immediate medical attention, leading to her death," he said.

Cholera is an extremely deadly disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration.

It affects both adults and children and can kill within hours if left untreated.

Dr Osuri told journalists that the county government was working to contain the disease, which was first reported last week.

He assured residents that health officials were working around the clock to ensure that the infection rate is brought under control.

The number of confirmed cases in the county is 73.

Most cases have been reported within Sindo town, with the majority of patients being fishermen from Wadiang'a Beach.

Dr Osuri said the county health department had advised residents on ways to prevent further spread.

These include suspending catering services at funerals and other events.


Cholera can be spread by eating contaminated food and water, or by using contaminated hands to eat.

The health department has also temporarily banned eating at food kiosks.

Dr Osuri said traders running eateries, especially in Sindo, had been ordered to close their businesses until the disease is eliminated.

"We have a team of health officials on the ground doing civic education. They are basically telling residents some of the best ways to avoid the disease," he said.
There are fears that the number of infections could rise, given the poor hygiene in the epicentre of the disease.

The Homa Bay government acknowledged the challenge and urged residents to be mindful of what they consume.

"There has been laxity in adherence to recommended hygiene standards. However, we are working to address this challenge," said Dr Osuri.

The Kenya Red Cross is among the teams working to sensitise communities.

County coordinator Samuel Omondi said his team was educating residents on what to look out for in people suspected of having cholera.

The task is a collaboration between the agency and community health volunteers.

Mr Omondi said Kenya Red Cross officials were also fumigating homes where patients come from.

"We have distributed chlorine and other chemicals to treat water. This is to ensure that residents are consuming safe water," he said.
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