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Elgeyo-Marakwet battles Malaria outbreak that has killed one

Wednesday January 22 2020
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Elgeyo-Marakwet County Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich (right) accompanied by Iten County Referral Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Benjamin Kimaile second (right), and Joseph Bunei, Nursing Officer in Charge of the hospital, talks to Faith Chelanga, one of the two students from Sing’ore Girls’ High School recuperating at the hospital on January 22, 2020. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By EVANS KIPKURA

One person has died while 135 others have been treated for Malaria in Elgeyo-Marakwet in the last one week as the disease spreads amidst the lack of drugs in the county.

There could be more cases as county medics are yet to reach some remote parts of the county particularly in Kerio Valley where most people are affected.

Most of the victims have been treated at Iten County Referral Hospital where dozens are still admitted.

The hospital medical superintendent Benjamin Kimaile on Wednesday said they were working round the clock to attend to malaria patients admitted at the facility.

"We are doing our level best to make sure that malaria cases reported are treated immediately. We have a number of adult patients in the wards who tested positive for malaria and are being treated," said Dr Kimaile.

MEDICATION

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Dr Kimaile added that out of 900 patients tested for malaria from the beginning of this year at the hospital, 135 tested positive and were immediately put under medication.

The county has requested the national government to fast track the supply of malaria drugs to be taken to areas that have reported rise in malaria cases.

The county government has said it is working with medics despite delay in the supply of drugs by the Kenya Medical Supply Agency (KEMSA).

Issuing a statement at the referral hospital after visiting Malaria patients, Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich said the infections have been occasioned by the early January short rains.

"There is a lot of stagnant water across the county. This has given a breeding space for mosquitoes hence the rise in the infections," said Mr Rotich.

SCHOOLS AFFECTED

He indicated that due to the rise in malaria cases in a number of secondary schools in the region, the county had issued a directive to all the schools’ administrations to ensure learners seek treatment whenever they display malaria symptoms.

A Form One student from Sing'ore Girls High School died last week a few hours after being checked into the referral hospital with malaria symptoms. A number of students from the school and nearby schools have also been admitted to the county hospital.

Mr Rotich said the malaria drugs were nearly exhausted, adding that Kemsa should act faster and send more drugs.

He said the number of patients reporting to health centers across the county with malaria symptoms has doubled since the first cases were reported late last year.

"We placed a requisition to Kemsa for drug supplies last year in November. We received the drugs last week," said Mr Rotich.

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