County dispatches health officials as malaria kills four in Isiolo

Wednesday January 6 2016

A health officer conducting an indoor residual spray that fights off mosquito-causing malaria.

A health officer conducting an indoor residual spray that fights off mosquito-causing malaria. Health workers have been deployed to conduct a malaria sensitisation programme for residents of Kinna Division, Isiolo County. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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More than 40 community workers and health officers have been deployed to Isiolo County to conduct public awareness campaign on malaria and minimize further carnage following the deaths of five children in about a two-week period.

The campaign is to sensitize the residents of Kinna Division on the disease's preventive measures.

The deaths of the four, three boys and a girl who died between December 17 and January 3, with hundreds hospitalised, have been attributed to the rainy season, which struck areas along the Ewaso Ng’iro River.

The most affected are Malkagala, Garfasa, Erasaburu,Sericho, Duse, Kinna Township, Rapsu, Gubba Dida, Garba-Tula, Kinna, and Merti districts.

County Director of Public Health Guracha Sarite said the awareness programme would prevent more cases of the disease.

About 1,500 mosquito nets have been donated by the Kenya Red Cross and other local and international donors and have since been distributed to more than 100 families.

“Since the rain has not stopped, we anticipate that the cases will increase,” said Mr Sarite, adding that health workers had "tested 427 patients in five dispensaries and a health centre over the last one month" and that some 114 were found to have malaria.

The health director observed that poor roads and a shortage of anti-malaria drugs were inhibiting treatment, and that diarrhoea cases were spiralling.

‘‘We are therefore appealing to the national government, local and international donors to assist us in provision of curative drugs and household mosquito nets.’’

Garbatulla Public Health Officer Boru Galgalo said at least 10 people had been diagnosed with malaria.

Locals said they had to trek for long distances to purchase drugs from private pharmacies.

Mr Galgalo urged locals to seek medical services immediately after they experience malaria symptoms.