More than 50 people have died across the country over the last two weeks following malaria outbreak amid deepening health crisis which threatens to paralyse the public health sector.
The outbreak which has been reported in at least five counties including Lamu, West Pokot, Baringo, Marsabit and Turkana Counties has also seen more than 2,000 people diagnosed with the disease.
Marsabit County is the worst affected region recording at least 26 deaths, while about 1,300 people have been diagnosed. The disease has also claimed nine people in Baringo County where villages such Kapau, Chesawach, Tayier, Gulel, Akoret and Kongor have been hardly hit.
Other affected areas include Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County where 438 people tested positive for the disease.
The government links the malaria outbreak to short rains saying the affected areas have been experiencing heavy rains providing fertile grounds for mosquito breeding. The cases was further escalated by the absence of all cadres of health workers who are currently on strike in demand of better remuneration.
RETURN TO WORK
The strikes by nurses and clinical offices are exacerbating the outbreak as the sick go untreated leading to more deaths.
But malaria patients could soon find some relief after Health CS Dr. Cleopa Mailu and Council of Governors Chairman Josephat Nanok signed a return to work formula with the clinical officers’ union officials on Thursday allowing the clinical workers to resume duties.
About 16,000 Kenyans died from Malaria last year despite the fact that testing and treatment are free in public health facilities, according to the 2017 Economic Survey.
One in nine outpatient to hospital for children under five is attributed to confirmed malaria.