Mukumu Girls death toll rises to four as boarding mistress succumbs to complications

Mukumu Girls boarding mistress Juliana Mujema dead disease outbreak

The entrance of Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega County. The school's boarding mistress, Ms Juliana Mujema (inset), is the fourth person to die from the outbreak of a bacterial illness at the institution.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group.

A senior teacher who doubled as the boarding mistress at Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls' High School in Kakamega County has died at an Eldoret hospital.

Ms Juliana Mujema passed on at 5:45pm on Thursday afternoon at LifeCare Specialty Hospital where she was admitted in critical condition on Wednesday, on referral from Oasis Hospital in Kakamega County.

She was in ICU while suffering from what doctors termed as liver and kidney damage caused by toxins from water and food.

When the Nation team visited the Eldoret medical facility on Wednesday afternoon, the patient had received six pints of blood. She died today while receiving the 8th pint, with doctors attending to her saying she had bled profusely.

Ms Mujema, a mother of two and an English and Literature teacher at the school, was taken ill and admitted at Oasis Hospital in Kakamega County on April 2, days after two students died and others were hospitalised with vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness.

According to her brother Amos Ngira, the teacher was referred to Lifecare after being admitted to two other hospitals in Kakamega due to kidney and liver problems.

“Initially, my sister was suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting but the situation kept on deteriorating. She was placed in ICU at Oasis Hospital before she was transferred to Eldoret,” said Mr Ngira.

Hours before she died on Thursday evening, her brother had expressed worry about her condition.

“The patient is at our Intensive Care Unit and had undergone a massive blood transfusion,” said Dr Raul Kaushik, who is in charge of critical care at the facility.

He said the patient had been placed on strong antibiotics and that more tests are being carried out to determine the nature of the disease.

“It took us some time to resuscitate the patient. Her blood pressure was very low and she was bleeding,” said Dr Raul.

The English and literature teacher was first admitted to Bliss Hospital and later to Oasis Hospital in Kakamega before she was referred to Life Care in Eldoret for specialised treatment.

Mr Ngira has asked the Mukumu Girls Board of Management to follow up on the case after three students died and more than 200 others were admitted to various hospitals across the country.

“The situation has overwhelmed the country referral hospital and other primary health care centres and needs the intervention of Kemri,” said Mr Ngira.

Another student from the school is receiving medical care at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital-Memorial Wing. The Form Two student was admitted to the facility on Tuesday with lower abdomen pain, high fever and joint pains.

When the disease outbreak at the school started, at least 246 students were hospitalised with vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness.