Residents asked to avoid handshakes to contain cholera

Wednesday March 2 2016

Marsabit public health officer, Mr Silas Ndirangu, disinfects beddings used by an Ethiopian woman who tested positive for cholera at the Nyayo Road village. The woman had attended a wedding at the village. PHOTO | KEN BETT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Marsabit public health officer, Mr Silas Ndirangu, disinfects beddings used by an Ethiopian woman who tested positive for cholera at the Nyayo Road village. The woman had attended a wedding at the village. PHOTO | KEN BETT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KEN BETT
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The Marsabit County health department has advised residents to avoid shaking hands in a bid to contain the spread of cholera.

The cholera outbreak has already killed one person and 109 more have tested positive.

“We have rolled out several measures including avoiding shaking hands because we think it spreading the disease very fast. We will put up adverts on local radios to inform the residents affected by the outbreak,” Dr Manase Ndakalu, the deputy director of health said Tuesday.

Mr Ndakalu also asked residents to stop getting into contact with disease victims and to keep off cholera treatment centres that the county has set up.

“The situation is almost becoming a disaster and we need a multi-sectoral approach to contain it because the department can’t manage it alone,” Mr Ndakalu said, adding that the national government and the Ethiopian governments should do more to stop the spread of the disease.

The health official said the county government has allocated Sh5 million to contain the outbreak, including for the purchase of aqua tabs to treat drinking water and for cleanliness awareness campaigns.

“I’m appealing to other stakeholders in the health sector to join in the fight and I urge the local residents to maintain high standards of hygiene,’’ he advised.

So far, six hotels have been shut down as part of the cholera containment effort.

The county public health officer, Mr Silas Ndirangu, also called on residents to observe hygiene adding that every home must have  a clean latrine.