1997 - Cholera in Kenya
28 October 1997
Disease Outbreak Reported
About 2,500 cases of cholera have been admitted to hospitals in Nyanza Province. Of these 140 (5.6%) have died. Most patients died within the first six hours of arrival in the health service and it is likely that more deaths occurred among patients on their way to hospital. The first case in the current outbreak was detected on 25 June 1997 in Nyatike Division. Migori District, and then spread to Rachuonyo, Suba, Homa Bay and Kisumu District of Nyuanza province and currently to Molo in Nakuru.
Following the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health and WHO in a joint meeting, the government allocated funds for the purchase of drugs and for activities to monitor the situation and limit the spread of the disease. The strategies aim at preventing deaths by improved early case detection and case management in health care facilities. Health education and surveillance through contact tracing is implemented by environmental health officers who also distribute oral rehydration salts in the affected communities.
The Ministry of Health considers the situation unstable in all affected five districts. The major contributing factors to this outbreak remain poor sanitation, lack of safe water and socio-cultural factors.