By Mariselah Kimbio (10/6/2023)

Since October last year, Kenya is facing a cholera outbreak that has claimed over 120 lives. This is according to figures by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies.

17 counties have reported cases of the disease since the first case was recorded in October 2022. IFRC places the numbers at over 7570 as of the 25th of March this year.

People living in informal settlements are hardest hit by the outbreak. This is due to a lack of proper access to clean toilets, clean water, food, and even adequate housing.

Around 3000 cases were reported in Dadaab refugee camp with the disease killing 2 people.

Areas across the country have been affected causing the closure of schools, as a containment measure.

Speaking during the 5th World Food Safety Day event at safari park hotel earlier this week, State Department of Medical Services PS, Harry Kimtai spoke on the urgency of preventive measures to combat both food and waterborne transmission.

Kimtai stressed prioritizing food safety measures to alleviate strain on healthcare systems and improve health outcomes.

Development and implementation of the Food and Feed Safety Control Coordination Bill 2023, has been among the solutions to improve food safety control and create a safer food supply chain.

Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) has been introduced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to aid the affected and it’s only been administered to hard-hit counties.

Some of the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The government, therefore, advises citizens to employ containment measures such as washing hands, keeping homes clean, covering food, eating hot food, drinking safe and treated water, and using latrines.