28 Mukumu Girls students hospitalised after malaria outbreak

The entrance of Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega
county. At least 28 students have been admitted in hospital in a suspected case of Malaria outbreak and possibly other infections.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group.

Some 28 students from Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls in Kakamega County have been hospitalised with fever and diarrhoea.

The students were reported to have been taken ill three days ago on suspicion of a malaria attack.

County Director of Health Dr William Olaka and health officers visited the school on Tuesday.

In their preliminary findings, nine students admitted to the nearby St Elizabeth Mukumu Mission Hospital tested positive for malaria and were receiving treatment.

Four others were admitted at a private hospital in Khayega and 15 were rushed to the St Elizabeth hospital after complaining of similar symptoms.

Dr Olaka said samples had been obtained for testing to establish whether there was an outbreak of the disease at the school, located near the Khayega market.

“Our preliminary investigations point to a malaria outbreak. We are still carrying out further investigations to establish what the other students could be suffering from,” Dr Olaka said.

The authorities are also investigating the possibility that the students were sickened by food poisoning or contaminated water.

He said there was no cause for alarm as the students were receiving treatment and were in a stable condition.

No Mosquito nets

The students were reported to be sleeping without using mosquito nets in their dormitories.

A parent told Nation.Africa he had learnt about the outbreak when he went to visit his daughter last Saturday.

“I was informed that several students had been admitted at the nearby hospital but what shocked me is that the school administration has not communicated to parents about the incident,” said the parent.

Health executive Dr Collins Matemba said a full report on the outbreak of the disease would be released after the public health team finalises investigations.

A teacher at the school said an outbreak of a waterborne disease was suspected.

The school’s water supply could have been contaminated, he said.