Abiding by Paris Agreement can control cholera outbreak

The recent cases of cholera in Nairobi are alarming. At least more than 10 people are in hospital.

Exposure to water-borne infections occurs by contact with contaminated drinking water and food.

PATHOGEN

This may result from human actions such as improper disposal of sewage, or weather events that damage poorly constructed drainage systems.

Rainfall can influence the transport and dissemination of infectious agents while the rise in temperatures due to climate change encourages growth and survival of cholera pathogens, making the cholera bacterium multiply.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Abiding by the Paris Agreement will strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.

Cholera is a serious disease that needs urgent attention.

WHO says 75 per cent of people infected with cholera do not develop symptoms but the pathogens stay in their faeces for seven to 14 days and are shed back into the environment.

SAFETY
The county should improve on water drainage and sanitation, access to safe water purification and treated water, general hygiene and solid waste disposal.

Mwari Maina, Nyeri.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu’s revocation of certificates for food handlers and eateries is most likely meant to hoodwink Kenyans that his ministry is fighting the spread of cholera.

But it is likely to affect only the small eateries.

The first cholera case in this cycle was reported at the high-class Weston Hotel, yet its certificate has not been revoked.

Ayub Abdallah, Nairobi.

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A growing appetite for tenders, misappropriation of funds, corruption and under-funding of ‘software’ (facilitation of staff to provide services like disease surveillance) is spreading cholera.

Agitation for better pay has forced a cut in service delivery, increasing risks of disease.

Rise in preventive public health conditions indicates crumbling health systems, a sign of mismanagement.

Alex Sabuni, Narok.

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In a letter, Mr Sam Ng’ang’a asks “Why has water been adulterated with raw sewage?” Blame the broken sewer pipes and garbage.

Clean water pipes are empty for most of the year. Nature hates vacuum.

When a pipe is empty, it has negative pressure, allowing contaminated fluids to back-siphonage (reverse flow) into it.

CONTAMINATE
When the pipe is filled, clean water mixes with the contaminants and is pushed to consumers.

As demonstrated by the Weston Hotel case, people should not disregard slums or expect safety because they are affluent or dine in classy hotels.

Paul M. Kimani, Seattle, WA, USA.

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The eateries at Ngara, just below the footbridge, are simply horrible.

They are covered by polythene papers and rats move up and down. Talk of ‘rats in a time of cholera’!

Githuku Mungai, Nairobi.

Public health leadership the answer

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