Alarm as 194 people are infected with cholera in Mandera

Moi Girls High School

A gate of Moi Girls High School in Mandera whose eight students have been infected with cholera.

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo I Nation Media Group

At least 194 people have been infected with cholera since the disease was detected in the count on January 14.

Health officials says Mandera town was the hardest hit.

Some 48 patients are being treated at the Cholera Treatment Center in the town.

“We have continued to record cases and at the moment we have 48 cases being managed at the treatment center but all are in stable condition,” Mr Abukar Abdi Sheikh, the county chief officer for health said.

He denied reports that a student succumbed to the disease on Sunday.

He said eight students from Moi Girls, a national school in the town were admitted on Friday and that they are responding well to treatment.

“We have not lost any patients from our facility. We are doing our best to manage the situation before it spreads to other towns in the county,” he said.

Moi Girls School principal Amina Wako while confirming admission of the students said the girls reported to school while sick.

“We have students who reported last week but fell sick and they are being treated for cholera. They came with the disease from their homes,” Ms Wako said.

According to Ms Wako, the school was out of risk since all the necessary measures had been taken.

“All our water sources have been treated and all the required hygiene put in place at the school,” she said.

Public sensitisation

The county health officials have continued public sensitisation program in Mandera according to Mr Sheikh.

“We have ordered the closure of all food kiosks and food hawking in the town as we continue with water treatment and public sensitisation programs,” he said.

He said case management has been intensified and that his team has continued to avail all the required medical supplies.

He urged the national government to include Mandera in the oral cholera vaccine drive launched recently.

Symptoms of cholera in the early stages of infection include profuse watery diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps and restlessness or irritability.

The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.

Mandera County recorded the worst cholera outbreak in 2016 which claimed at least 19 lives while 1200 were infected. The pandemic lasted 17 months then.