We’ve contained cholera in Marsabit, Health CEC says

Monday May 25 2020

Marsabit County Health Executive Jamma Wolde who on May 25, 2020 said that the recent wave of cholera that hit Illeret Ward is currently under control. PHOTO | JACOB WALTER | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Authorities in Marsabit County have said that the recent wave of cholera that hit Illeret Ward is currently under control.

County Health Executive Jamma Wolde said that there is no cause for alarm as the outbreak has been completely contained.

Dr Wolde said the epidemic, first reported in April 25,2020, and that allegedly claimed more than seven lives and left at least 225 people infected.

Speaking to journalists while receiving a donation of personal protection equipment for health workers from the Muslim Agency in Marsabit town, Dr Wolde revealed that by Friday, seven patients were admitted at Illeret Dispensary and four had been discharged.

“We’ve done everything possible to contain the recent cholera outbreak reported in Illeret dispensary, and by Friday morning, seven patients were hospitalised at Illeret and four got discharged,” he said.



The killer disease claimed at least 13 lives in a span of one month. But residents claimed more than 30 lives were lost to the epidemic and that the victims died outside the established treatment centres.

There have been contradicting reports about the casualty tallies as the county government insists that only two people died within their jurisdiction while Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on May 21, 2020 announced that 13 people had died.

While responding to the claims, Dr Wolde maintained that they only have authority to make public deaths reported in their jurisdiction, adding that they could not trash the claims of 30 other deaths.

“I still reiterate that as the Health department, we can only make public deaths witnessed in our established health facilities. We have no authority to account for the incidents reported in the manyattas,” he said.


There are two cholera treatment centres in Illeret Ward set up in Telesgai and Illeret dispensaries.

The Health executive said due to the improved health situation, Telesgai cholera treatment centres currently remains idle.

He also said that an additional eight health officers were dispatched to the two dispensaries which initially only had three health workers.

The disease originated from Bubua area in the neighbouring Ethiopia which formed the epicentre that claimed dozens of lives.

In a bid to avert further loss of lives to the epidemic, the county government, the Kenya Red Cross Society and some local NGOs came together to enlighten residents on the importance of sanitation and good hygiene at home.


Mass water treatment and fumigation of the affected areas have also been launched in the county after it emerged that contaminated water sources were the leading causes of the epidemic.

The national government, on the other hand, deployed security officers at the Illeret-Ethiopia border to ensure there is a complete cessation of movement in and out of the country through the designated points.

Further, fishing activities were also temporarily banned and more than 400 people evacuated from Abolokwa Island which was hard hit by the outbreak in order to give room for fumigation.