Kenya’s Ministry of Health said on Thursday that 13 people have died due to cholera following heavy rains pounding several parts of the nation.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, said medical personnel are working round the clock to control the reported 550 disease cases, mostly appeared in northern Kenya.
“It is unfortunate that we have lost 13 Kenyans to the disease, 12 of them in Marsabit and one in Turkana,’’ Kagwe told journalists in Nairobi.
“Regrettably, most of the case, 40 percent and sadly, 70 percent of the deaths too, have been among children aged 10 years and below.’’
The official said other cases have been reported in Garissa in north-eastern Kenya and that the outbreak gradually made its way to Wajir, Turkana and Muranga in central Kenya.
He said that 48 cases in Garissa, four in Wajir and eight in Muranga have been controlled, following quick intervention by health personnel.
Kagwe announced that the government has enhanced intervention and that cases in Marsabit and Turkana in the northern region will be contained over the next two weeks.
“We believe that this is feasible, given the fact that the outbreak is currently localised to only two areas – Marsabit and Turkana,” he added.
Cholera is a gastrointestinal disease, usually spread by contaminated water and food.
It can cause severe diarrhoea that, in extreme cases, can lead to fatal dehydration and kidney failure within hours.