By Onderi M. Dennis
The great cholera epidemic is raging across Sub-Saharan Africa, with Nairobi and Darfur the worst hit. So far, close to 1000 infections and 12 deaths have been reported in Kenya while Kabkabiya Hospital, North Darfur, alone has recorded 43 infections in its isolation centre.
Both national and county government health officials in Nairobi and 12 other counties have been strategizing on how to bring the outbreak under control, but 12 new cases were reported earlier today, six at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the others at a newly opened centre at Mukuru Kwa Reuben slums. Four people have died of the infection since May in Nairobi alone.
Meanwhile, in North Darfur, infections are decreasing in El Gedaref, but a volunteer activist told Radio Dabanga that most of the new cases are being reported from El Jeer District, camp El Matar, and the Korkrama region. Sseveral victims are also yet to be discharged from the isolation centres of El Gallabat West and Galael Nahal.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health indefinitely closed down the Jacaranda Hotel and San Valencia Restaurant after their staffs tested positive for cholera. It also emerged that two ministers, Henry Rotich and Adan Mohamed, among several other victims hospitalised after developing cholera-like symptoms had attended separate events where the two establishments had offered catering services.
Led by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, the ministry said that the businesses will remain shut until they comply with specific food safety requirements. The CS also indicated that more may be targeted and ordered all food handlers in Nairobi to acquire new certification from the City Public Health Department within 21 days.
An educational centre, which is said to have been hit hard by the outbreak, was also closed down in Mukuru kwa Rueben slums.