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Ten killed, 700 infected with cholera in Mandera

Monday May 23 2016

Patients receiving treatment at a cholera treatment centre on May 23, 2016 in Mandera County. Sixty-three people are admitted at Mandera Referral Hospital suffering from cholera. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Patients receiving treatment at a cholera treatment centre on May 23, 2016 in Mandera County. Sixty-three people are admitted at Mandera Referral Hospital suffering from cholera. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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Ten people have died of cholera and more than 700 infected in Mandera County in the past one month.

Sixty-three patients are currently admitted in a special ward at Mandera referral hospital suffering from the disease.

A Non-Governmental Organization has also set up a camp in the county to help mitigate the fast spreading epidemic.

County health executive Ahmed Sheikh said lack of clean water for consumption has increased the spread of the killer disease.

He said the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been invited to help fight the disease.

“This disease was first reported four weeks ago from someone who travelled to Mandera from Nairobi and now almost every village in Mandera East is affected,” he said.

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“We have 63 patients in the isolation ward which is more than the capacity but together with MSF we are putting up a temporary cholera treatment centre,” said Mr Sheikh.

He said the temporary 60-bed ward now under construction at the main entrance to the referral hospital shall be well equipped.

Three ambulances are also attached to the centre to collect patients who show symptoms of cholera.

The humanitarian organization will also be training medical staff at the referral hospital on how to handle the outbreak.

MSF has participated in fighting cholera in Migori, Wajir and Marsabit counties.

Mr Sheikh blamed the deaths on negligence of relatives of the victims and denied reports that the cholera treatment centre was understaffed.

“The relatives are bringing patients in the last stage of the disease which can rarely be treated resulting to deaths but there is nothing like shortage of staff at the hospital,” he said.

He said some patients were being admitted in private medical centres in Mandera town and later transferred to the cholera treatment centre once the situation becomes uncontrollable.

The executive said plans were underway to hold a house to house campaign in Mandera East adding that the county has secured the other five sub counties against the disease.

Food kiosks in Mandera town remained closed for the second week as the county executive warned the public against staying with patients at home longer instead of seeking medication early.