Butere Boys closed indefinitely over strange stomach illness

Butere Boys

Butere Boys High School students going home after school closed indefinitely on April 4, 2023 following a suspected outbreak of a stomach illness at the institution.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Butere Boys High School closed indefinitely over a strange illness outbreak at the institution.

No details were provided on what could have caused the ailment. However, Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said that t analysis of samples from the learners at the Level Four Butere Sub County hospital had ruled out cholera and typhoid.

He said the school had been closed temporarily as health officials investigated the cause of the disease outbreak. 

Mr Barasa said an emergency team comprising health teams from the county and national government will be formed to look at the issue of hygiene in learning institutions in the region, following the outbreak of diseases at the Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School and Butere Boys High School in a span of a week.

Samples of food and water were collected and will be sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) for further analysis in a bid to establish the cause of the disease outbreak.

"We are asking parents to remain calm and ensure their children seek treatment when they get home," said the county chief.

During the incident at the school, 42 students started complaining of stomach pains at about 9.30am.

The number grew to 100 students prompting the school management to release the learners to go home as those who had been affected were rushed to the nearby Butere Sub County hospital for treatment.

Five of the learners who were in critical condition are reported to have stabilised after receiving treatment. 

The county chief spoke after attending a closed-door meeting at the school which lasted four hours. 

Kakamega County Commissioner John Ondego, Ministry of Education officials and their counterparts from the Ministry of Health attended the meeting.

The closure of Butere Boys comes a day after Ministry of Education officials closed Sacred Heart Mukumu High School following the death of two students in an incident that had over 200 students fall ill at the school.