Humanitarian Health Action

WHO, Italy deliver urgent health response to Kenya burn victims

6 FEBRUARY 2009 ¦ GENEVA: WHO and the Government of Italy are providing 50 000 Euros and technical support to Kenya in response to the petrol tanker fire on 31 January that killed 110 people and injured 176 others, many with severe burns.

A joint rapid needs assessment conducted by WHO, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and OCHA on 1 February in the affected districts and district hospitals revealed the situation is grave and that identified that health facilities working to treat patients needed urgent assistance.

Even though the health care delivery system currently is coping marginally, it requires immediate and continuous assistance. Management of burnt cases requires intensive care, timely availability of drugs, infusions and other consumables, and frequent changing of beddings and linen.

Hospitals in Nakuru, Molo and Nairobi require urgent assistance to treat the victims, half of whom have suffered more than 40% burns and require intensive care.

Specific needs include infusions, painkillers, wound dressing materials and the recruitment of a burns specialist.

Italy has authorized Health Action in Crises to use 50 000 Euros from the Bilateral Emergency Fund to locally buy medical supplies and treat the injured.