Cholera Outbreak Confirmed in Namayingo District

The Namayingo Health department has reported finding three cases of cholera in the district. According to the District Health Officer, Mathias Mageni, both the cholera patients and their probable close contacts are currently being managed at Bukana Health Center III in Bukana Sub County.

Mangeni explains that samples were taken from three women residing in Secho village, Sigulu Island Sub County, after presenting with cholera-like symptoms, such as vomiting and fevers and they turned out positive for the disease. He says that they immediately isolated the trio in their respective areas of residence before being referred for treatment at Bukana Health Center III.

Mangeni revealed that the index case had a travel history, having visited cholera endemic areas in Western Kenya within 10 days before the onset of the disease in the community, where three cases have been registered so far.

He also reported a total of 60 registered close contacts of the victims, comprising 13 children and 47 adults have since been discharged and are currently receiving home visits from specialized health workers deployed to monitor their medical condition.

Mangeni expressed concern that despite using result-based funds (RBF) from Bukana Health Center III to procure fluids required in the fight against cholera, the district is facing shortages of key supplies such as cholera rapid diagnostic test kits, cannulas, adhesive plasters, gloves, antibiotics, oral rehydration salts, disposable aprons, gumboots, chlorine-based formulations, sodium hypochlorite (Jik), liquid soap, and portable handwashing facilities.

He further noted the absence of isolation tents at Bukana Island Sub County Health Center III, Sigulu Island Sub County Health III, Bumalenge Health Center II, and Rabachi Health II, respectively, which are located in communities where most of the suspected cases have been reported.

Mangeni expressed worries that if the required supplies are not delivered on time, the nature of communal settlements and open defecation practices in the affected islands could facilitate a repeat of the infection cycle over time.

Meanwhile, Deputy Namayingo Resident District Commissioner, Solomon Baleke, mentioned that they have organized a dialogue meeting between the district’s local government leaders and other development partners to discuss means of facilitating Village Health Team-VHTs with lunch and transport allowances. This support will enable them to easily mobilize the masses on acceptable hygienic practices and risk communication.

Baleke added that the meeting will also, explore probable sources of funding to support health assistants and inspectors with fuel to traverse the affected communities, thus ensuring timely detection and treatment of cholera cases.

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