Mukumu Girls: 82 learners treated for various ailments this month

The school had been closed in April due to disease outbreak.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | NMG

Twenty-four learners from Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega County have been hospitalised after returning to school on 8 May feeling unwell.

According to an update from the County Executive for Health, Dr Bernard Wesonga, two of the students are currently admitted at Kakamega County Referral Hospital while 22 others are being treated at St Elizabeth Mission Hospital in Mukumu.

Thirty eight (38) students have been referred to outpatient care and are being treated at Kakamega County Referral Hospital and St Elizabeth Mission Hospital Mukumu. 

According to the report, 82 students were treated at various hospitals between 8 and 14 May after reporting back to school and complaining of feeling unwell.

Two pupils were admitted to Kakamega County Referral Hospital and 41 to St Elizabeth Mission Hospital Mukumu.

One pupil was admitted to Hema Hospital in Kisii County.

The report differs sharply from a briefing given to journalists at the school on 8 May by the headmistress, Sister Jane Mmbone, who claimed that only three students had reported to school feeling unwell. 

Sister Mmbone said the three learners had been admitted to hospital with malaria and had been discharged after treatment.

According to the report, laboratory results from 44 of the pupils admitted for treatment showed that 16 of them had malaria. 

Six students were found to be suffering from gastritis/PUD (inflammation of the lining of the stomach, forming an ulcer or sore).

Four other students had acute gastroenteritis (a condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. The condition is caused by a bacterial or viral stomach bug).

Three other students had pneumonia, while 2 had sepsis (usually a life-threatening complication of infection). 

Five students were diagnosed with urinary tract infections, one with anaemia and two with brucellosis. 

Two students contracted salmonellosis, while three others suffered from tonsillitis, syncope and leptospirosis.
According to the report: "Further laboratory culture tests are being carried out to rule out other possible pathogens. Most of the girls are in a stable condition and none of them have shown signs of severe illness such as severe dehydration, haemochezia, haematuria, jaundice, severe anaemia or persistent fever".

The Kenya Red Cross team, the Kenya Association of Counsellors and a team from Masinde Muliro University are providing psychosocial support to students, teachers and non-teaching staff at the school.