FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Health officials trying to contain cholera, hepatitis E along Kenya-Somalia border

An outbreak of cholera along the border between Kenya and Somalia has killed dozens and left many more sick, according to aid workers, government officials and local residents.

While the public health department in Kenya has recorded nine cholera deaths and 89 cases overall in the past three weeks, residents are saying that dozens have died. One local resident said that many of the infected were too weak to reach health facilities, IRIN reports.

"More than 50 people have died," Abdirizak Haji, a local leader from the Kenyan border town of Liboi, said, according to IRIN. "A women and her child died last night at a village close to Amuma. The infected people are too weak; they cannot walk to the health facilities. We need mobile services, the people also need water. The government needs to offer water trucking services as most of the areas hit by cholera are faced with severe water shortage."

The disease was first reported in Hoonsigo, a Somali village approximately 100 kilometers from Liboi. It could have been spread by migrant workers and people fleeing a military operation in southern Somalia.

In addition, an outbreak of hepatitis E, another disease that results from contaminated water, has killed four people in Dadaab, Kenya. There have been 233 infections of hepatitis E in total in the town.

Kenya's health agency built 6,000 latrines and has tried to improve the water supply of the camp to prevent further outbreaks, IRIN reports.