WHO set up base in Garissa, to offer technical support in contacting cholera outbreak in the region
GARISSA—The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to set up an office in Garissa that will help in offering technical support for the three counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera on cholera issues.
This was disclosed by the WHO country Director Dr.Ahmed Dialo during his visit in Garissa to access the cholera situation days after the ten days of the cholera oral vaccine.
Speaking to the press after paying a courtesy call to the county commissioner’s office, the WHO director acknowledged that the strong collaboration from the county officials and the WHO team on the ground has led to positive results.
BREAKING: At least three people have succumbed to Cholera in Mandera County, Mandera County CEC for Health Mohamud Adan Mohamed has confirmed. https://t.co/Is7OlPFT8t
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) February 21, 2023
Garissa is one of the counties that has been dealing with cholera outbreak since October last year when the first case from the Hagadera refugee camp in Fafi sub county was reported.
So far 11 people have died with over 2,000 cases reported with disease spreading sporadically in all the sub counties.
The WHO director who later visited the Garissa county Public Health Emergency Operation Center to check on the patients still admitted emphasized on strong collaboration between the different arms.
“WHO has been on the ground from the very first day of the oral vaccination exercise working in collaboration with county technical officers and all the partners on the round in ensuring that that there is a very strong response to the cholera outbreak. The strong facilitation offered by the county officials to the WHO team is really appreciated,” he said.
Many medical practitioners here fear traversing the area because of security concerns. It’s no coincidence that Mandera’s routine immunisation rates rank among Kenya’s lowest. #Mandera https://t.co/Jsw1XOoCtG
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) February 2, 2023
Dr wekesa Julius, incident manager WHO was leading the Garissa team said that the major issues that were contributing to the spread of the highly contagious diseases was lack of water and issues to do with sanitation.
Dr Wekesa who welcomed the just concluded ten days oral cholera vaccination that was met with positive response was however quick to add that it was not a ‘magic bullet’.
“Other measures need to be taken care of like personal hygiene, clean water, proper handling of food. This are key issues,” he said.
He further said that teams comprising of officials from the ministry of health and the county government were on the ground to educate people through radio talk shows and Baraza to ensure that they get to understand the disease is spread and how is spread and things to avoid its spread.
County health executive Ahmednadhir Omar while acknowledging the support that has been offered by WHO to the county in terms of containing the spread of the disease was however quick to add that the threat still remains.
Amid devastating cholera outbreak in Wajir South that claimed nine and over 120 hospitaised, the area MP @Moadow now want the government to do more to contain the deadly infection. #Wajir https://t.co/Qrg731BMYb
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) January 22, 2023
Omar who disclosed that over 930 people had been covered by the oral vaccination which translates to 98 percent saying that considering the many challenges the county was facing including insecurity in some areas and the ongoing drought, the numbers were impressive.
“The collaboration and commitment from both governments and other partners like WHO has really helped in managing this disease. The multi-sectoral approach is really welcome,”.
He added: “Worth noting is that Health is a malti sectoral and collaborative issue .we all have a role to play. It is about health for all and all for health,” he said.