An outbreak of dengue fever and a likely Cholera Outbreak continues to be experienced in the northeastern Kenyan town of Mandera, close to the Somalia and Ethiopia borders, Where atleast 100,000 people are at risk, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
According to the authorities, "The Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness, and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue hemorrhagic fever.” and are urging Mandera residents to use mosquitoes nets and maintain hygiene so that they do to contract the disease.
In addition, the rains experienced now around Mandera and larger North Eastern Province leads to the risk of contamination of water sources and can lead to an increase in water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, acute watery diarrhoea (AWD), cholera, and hepatitis A. Outbreaks of vector-borne diseases, particularly those spread by mosquitos, such as malaria, dengue and Rift Valley Fever are likely during the rainy season, and increases in cases of pneumonia and respiratory tract infections are common. More than 1,200 cases of dengue have been confirmed in Kenya’s Mandera District since Sept. 23. Flooding in Turkana and Pokot, areas in northwest Kenya, has caused a spread of malaria in the Upper Rift Valley, with outbreaks in Turkana, Kakuma, and surrounding districts.
“Households remain extremely vulnerable to additional shocks as the severe drought has depleted herders’ assets and reduced crop production.” Oxfam Says
A local NGO, Northern Kenya Caucus in collaboration with an International NGO, HORN RESPONSE will carry out a one week Hygiene and Cholera Preparedness in many of Mandera's Locations, including The Lafey District (Kenya-Somalia Border). The “Dengue Fever attack rate is very high but mortality is very low”, the ministry said in a statement.
A permanent river, Dawa, passes through Mandera. Health officials said residents had been complaining of mosquito bites during the day with the bites swelling.
“Using bed nets was impractical as the vector was biting during the day,” the ministry said. “The Public Health office has also noted the resistance developed by the vector to insecticides of different varieties (Icon and Deltamethrin mainly).” Health authorities have alerted all neighbouring districts and public awareness campaigns are ongoing, advising residents to seek early medical attention.