Two die as cholera outbreak hits Kisumu

The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu. A cholera patient died at the facility.

Photo credit: File

Two people have died and nine others admitted to various hospitals in Kisumu following a Cholera outbreak in the lakeside county.

Kisumu County Director for Public Health Liliana Dayo has confirmed the casualties were recently been referred to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in critical condition.

“The first Cholera case was confirmed at JOOTRH in Kisumu from a patient who had travelled from Kasipul sub-county in HomaBay County and the second one came from Kisumu Central sub-county," said Ms Dayo.

She added that an additional two cases had been reported by Wednesday, April 19 bringing the total confirmed cases to nine.

On Tuesday, the county health department confirmed seven cases and the patients were admitted in hospital. Out of the nine confirmed cases, five are males while the rest are females.

Currently, the outbreak hotspots are Nyalenda A Ward in Kisumu East, and Nyalenda B and Milimani Market wards in Kisumu Central.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) evening we received a patient from Chiga Mission Hospital who was in critical condition. So far all the patients are isolated and in stable condition," she said.

The Cholera outbreak in Kisumu comes at a time when several parts of the country are struggling with alarming cases of the disease.

The neighbouring Kakamega County reported the death of three students and a teacher with several others admitted in hospital due to the outbreak of a waterborne disease.

The health department is closely following and investigating suspected diarrheal cases in Kanyakwar Kachok, Capital, Mamboleo, Libeto, and Kapuothe areas.

Cholera is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes severe diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases, death.

The bacteria is spread through contaminated food and water, and it is essential to take preventive measures to curb its spread.

Kisumu’s CECM for Health and medical services Gregory Ganda argued that with the ongoing heavy rains and flooding, the cases of waterborne diseases such as Cholera are bound to increase.

Earlier, there had been cases of some schools within the county reporting cases of diarrhoea.

“So far I can confirm we have no Cholera outbreaks in schools. Not all diarrheal cases are Cholera,” Dr Ganda told Nation.Africa on phone.

Now Kisumu residents have been asked to treat or boil all water for drinking and embrace proper use of toilets and disposal of human waste.

“We urge all residents to remain vigilant and maintain high standards of personal hygiene including washing hands with soap and water before and after visiting the toilet and before eating,” he said.

He added that Kisumu County has taken measures to contain the outbreak by providing clean and safe water for drinking and cooking in affected areas.

Dr Ganda asked residents with Cholera symptoms such as acute watery diarrhea and vomiting to seek immediate medical care at health facilities nearest to them.

“We encourage residents to avoid street foods and ensure that all food is properly cooked and served hot. The department’s public health officers will from today be more vigilant in and Re-inspecting all eateries and food outlets,” he said.

Kisumu County reported an increase in the number of diarrheal diseases in January with nine people admitted at Kombewa County Hospital, Seme.