Displaced persons suffer diarrhea due to lack of toilets

A woman with her child inside a tent at Eldume Internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Baringo South on March 21,2017. The camp hosts over 400 residents who were evacuated from Mukutani after suspected Pokot Bandits attacked the village.PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH

Growing cases of diarrhoea at Eldume Internally Displaced Persons camp have caused concern among healthcare providers.

The camp hosts more than 400 families who fled their homes in Mukutani, Baringo South, following a series of deadly bandit attacks last month.

According to the chairman of the camp, Joahness Olechurai, lack of enough latrines to cater for the big population of IDPs is slowly fuelling a full-blown outbreak.

“The camp has only three pit latrines that are supposed to be used by 467 people. They are not enough and the people end up queuing to access the toilets,” Olechurai said.

Faced with the shortage, the IDPs have resorted to bushes around the camp for toilets.

According to Elma Kipkech, the nurse in charge of a Beyond Zero clinic at the camp, more than 200 cases had been reported in the last two weeks alone.

She said most of the patients received at the clinic were nursing dehydration and were very weak.

Children are bearing the blunt of the impending outbreak.

“Most cases that we handle in the clinic involve children. They are the most affected since their immune system is weaker compared to the grown-ups,” said the nurse.

Kipkech blamed poor sanitation in the camp for the growing cases of the disease, and urged residents to maintain proper hygiene.

She especially warned them against against improper waste disposal.

The chairman of the camp conceded that it was increasingly becoming unhygienic and a major health threat for residents.

“Some people wake up early to help themselves in the bushes and compounds have become very dirty and unhealthy,” he said.

Lack of clean water has further complicated the sanitation situation inside the camp, making it a public health time-bomb.



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