The first case of acute watery diarhoea was reported on 11th January 2018 from Narengelup village of katilu ward. More similar cases from nearby villages were later admitted to Katilu sub county hospital which prompted the clinical team to query possibility of cholera. Initial investigations did not show evidence of cholera in the samples collected. All cases were managed and discharged.
The second round of samples collected in early February indicated presence of cholera organisms hence confirmation of cholera outbreak.
So far, a total of 5 cases have been confirmed by laboratory tests. All the 5 confirmed cases were from katilu area.
Note that cholera is a notifiable disease, a single confirmed case qualifies for declaration of an outbreak situation. This is where we are now as a county. The major peak of the outbreak was on 27th January 2018.
So far,a total of 147 cases have been managed and discharged in our county health facilities; 139 in Katilu sub county hospital, 5 in Lokichar and 3 at the Lodwar County and referral hospital.
Cases remained relatively low as from 9th February 2018 to 25th February 2018.This was attributed to the multi sectoral high impact response by the county team. New cases erupted in the last week of February from Angarabat village.
As at today, only 7 patients are admitted (4 in Katilu,1-angarabat and 2 at LCRH) and all of them are in stable condition with possibility of discharge.
No death has been reported during this outbreak period.
What has been done;
- The county activated a multisectoral rapid response team under the leadership of the county director of Health to respond, coordinate and monitor emergency response.
- 3 Cholera treatment centers were established to manage cases in Katilu, Angarabat and LCRH.There is an elaborate strategy to establish more treatment centers in case of further spread.
- All sub county health management teams, health facilities and community health units have been put on alert mode.
- Active case search and surveillance activities have been strengthened
- Health education campaign spearheaded by field staffs and community health volunteers
- Clean up and village sanitation campaigns are ongoing in all the 67 hotspot areas
- Public health interventions that include ban on preparation of food in open air markets, closure of all food premises in affected areas, and examination of food handlers have been put in place
- WASH commodities including jerry cans, aqua tabs, purr and soap have been distributed to affected and at risk population
- Pharmaceuticals and non-pharms have been mobilized and prepositioned in all the 7 sub counties
- Continuous sensitization of health care workers is ongoing in all our health facilities
- The public have been asked to be on high alert and observe proper excreta management, water and food safety.
- All government departments and stakeholders are involved in the intervention
The current rain situation and reported outbreaks in other counties like Trans-Nzoia and west Pokot where we get our supplies
Dr.Stephen Namoru Ekitela
County Director of Health, Turkana County