Police search for cateress of wedding hit by cholera deaths

Friday May 19 2017

Police are searching for the cateress whose company prepared and served guests at a wedding in Karen.

A poster at the Mogotio Health Centre, at the border of Baringo and Nakuru counties, on October 13, 2015 displays information on cholera. Police are searching for the cateress whose company prepared and served guests at a wedding in Karen, four of whom later died of cholera. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By EUNICE KILONZO
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By DERICK LUVEGA
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Police are looking for the cateress whose company prepared and served guests at a wedding in Karen, in which four people have died and five others, including a foreigner, hospitalised due to cholera.

The advocate of the newlyweds, Mr Joel Njogu Weru, told the Nation that the police and the Ministry of Health (MoH) officials are looking for Ms Rose Araka who runs the Trade Bells Services.

Ms Araka was contracted to offer meals to over 300 guests during the lavish wedding.

“We have reported her to the Karen Police Station under OB number 15/19/05/2017. She is beyond reach both to us and the police.

"Later, we went to the Disease surveillance and Response at MoH who also tried to reach her but failed,” Mr Weru said.

OTHERS AT RISK
Trade Bells Services describes itself as a Nairobi based catering firm founded in 1998 and specialises in custom made menu products.

“Our target clients are corporate houses, institutions and individuals who enjoy fresh and quality cuisine,” the firm says on its LinkedIn account.

Ms Araka is listed as the founder and director of the company that operates at Njemwa House in Kilimani, Nairobi.

The advocate expressed concern that Ms Araka may still “be cooking and serving people” who may not know of the risk that awaits them.

CHOLERA CASES
Further, the family disputed the claim that cholera cases were from Vihiga County as shared by Nairobi Health Executive Bernard Muia, who declared the outbreak on Thursday after laboratory tests confirmed the cholera cases.

“It is not true because we have guests who ate at the wedding and have never been to Vihiga and are currently receiving treatment.

"We would like an elaborate and transparent investigation over the matter. A wedding is a time of joy, not tears or deaths as we have seen,” the groom said through the advocate.

PATIENTS DISCHARGED
He requested anonymity as he said his family was too traumatised by the events that unfolded after the May 13 wedding.

The family has pinned their troubles on the food and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Vihiga County was put on high alert following a cholera outbreak that has claimed one life.

The man had just arrived from Nairobi where he had attended the Karen wedding.

County health director, Dr Quido Ahindukha, said two other patients, also having similar symptoms, were separately treated at Kaimosi and the Vihiga County Referral Hospital and later discharged.

HOSPITALISED
The victims were part of a larger group of guests from Chango, Kigama and Kaimosi villages, who had attended the event on May 13.

Mr Andrew Ahuga, a relative of one of the victims and the North Maragoli Ward Rep, said their Kigama family was the most affected as they lost one member and five others were still hospitalised.