Weston Hotel, Nairobi
Six tests carried out on visitors at the Weston hotel last week have confirmed there was a cholera outbreak.
County health executive Bernard Muia yesterday confirmed it was indeed a cholera outbreak and is now spearheading a team of 15 to comb the city for other related incidents.
Consequently, the Nairobi County government has now ordered a full evaluation of all food handlers in city eateries and hotels in a bid to curb the cholera outbreak. According to health officials, out of 25 samples collected from the visitors who started experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea after consuming food at Weston, six were confirmed to have contracted the disease.
“We had to get evidence that it was indeed cholera and now that we have, all that is remaining is to get to the root cause or origin of the disease,” said Muia.
Muia said that the 15-man task force formed to probe the issue would give a report within 10 working days. This will in turn enable the health administration to take action on those found culpable for the disease outbreak.
“If the hotel is found to have breached the health regulations, we will act in accordance with the Public Health Act,” he added.
At the same time, the health boss has ordered for the immediate inspection of all food handlers in city hotels and eateries. This, he said, was to ensure that they had valid food handling certificates and the members of staff had undergone the required medical examination twice a year.
“Through the validation exercise, the task force will be looking into possible new cases of the disease across Nairobi which if any will be treated immediately. We are taking preventive and curative measures to ensure that such an incident never happens again,” said Muia.
Dr Muia warned that hotels found not to have a valid food licence would be closed immediately as they are putting citizen lives in danger.
Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company has now been urged to ensure efficient chlorination of water and fix burst pipes, which could lead to the contamination of water. Nairobians in turn are being asked to observe high hygienic standards such as washing hands, drinking treated or boiled water and eating food cooked from a source which is not contaminated.
Since the incident last week, four cholera treatment centres have been reactivated and the county disease surveillance team put on high alert. They are located in Mukuru Kwa Reuben and Huruma Lion’s Health Centre.
“Nairobians should improve their hygiene then we won’t have a repeat of such an incident,” said Muia.