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Cholera outbreak: Health ministry cancels food handlers’ medical certificates

The Health ministry has canceled the medical certificates of all food handlers to contain the cholera outbreak that has hit Nairobi.

Medical services director Jackson Kioko on Monday directed all county health departments to conduct fresh medical examinations before issuing any other certificates.

In a statement to media houses, Kioko noted all hotels must have valid medical certificate of food handlers and solid waste disposal.

“Health officials will make random spot checks to ensure compliance to this directive,” he said.

Following the outbreak last week, Health CEC Bernard Muia said three deaths were reported on July 14 and 96 cases of infection confirmed.

The most affected areas include Mathare, Huuruma, and Mukuru Kwa Reuben in Embakasi.

Muia said 336 cases of suspected cholera have been reported over the past two months.

More on this: Health ministry spells measures after cholera kills three, infects 336

TASK FORCE FORMED

Kioko further said the ministry has formed a multi-sectoral taskforce to battle cholera outbreak.

He said members will be drawn from UNHCR, Unicef, WHO, Red Cross, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Amref.

“Its main task is to respond to the ongoing cholera transmission so as to kick [the disease] out of the country.”

The director also asked the health departments to Inspect all hotels and eateries and examine food handles in 21 days.

He said any individual or organisation wishing to outsource food for any function should notify the relevant department 14 days in advance to allow relevant inspections and approvals.

Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury) and Adan Mohammed (Industrialisation) were among patients admitted at Nairobi hospitals last week with cholera.

The two who had been attending a trade conference were taken to Nairobi Hospital.

A similar case of cholera was reported at Weston Hotel in Nairobi in June.

Sick doctors posted on social media laboratory results showing they tested positive for cholera.

They possibly contracted the disease at the hotel where they had been attending a week-long health conference.

More on this: CSs Rotich, Adan Mohamed admitted after reports of cholera outbreak

Also read: Doctors confirm Weston Hotel case is cholera, ‘disgusted’ by ministry’s denial

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