Task force to battle cholera epidemic formed

The national government is pulling all stops to arrest the spread of cholera that has so far claimed three lives in Nairobi City County.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko on Monday announced a raft of drastic measures that included cancelling all medical certificates for food handlers.

Mr Kioko also directed counties to ban food hawking and inspect all hotels in 21 days as he appointed a multi-sectoral task force to battle the outbreak.

The main task of the team is to respond to cholera cases.

INSPECTION

The task force includes experts from the Water and Irrigation ministry, UNHCR, Unicef, WHO, Red Cross and Amref.

Hotels have been banned from outsourcing food and those wishing to do so should notify the county health department 14 days in advance to allow inspection.

He said his department will work with water companies to test water sold by vendors and also repair broken sewers.

Mr Kioko also said they have launched campaigns to sensitise city residents on hygiene and sanitation.

SAMPLES

He said three people have died and 336 cholera-related cases have been reported since May this year.

Mr Kioko said the incident at KICC that left two Cabinet secretaries and over 50 people hospitalised after developing cholera-related symptoms is being investigated.

“Samples of food water and sewer have been collected from outsourced caterers and taken to the National Public Health Laboratory. The results are expected in the course of next week,” he said.

On July 14, top government officials, including National Treasury CS Henry Rotich, his Trade counterpart Adan Mohammed and Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo and several staff from the Trade and Treasury ministries were treated for cholera-related symptoms.

This was after they ate food served during a trade event at KICC.

Eateries without valid licences and unregistered water vendors targeted.

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