2 die, 32 hospitalised following cholera outbreak in Gatanga.

Doctors at the Thika Level 5 Hospital attending to one of the patients in one of the isolation wards set aside for the Nyaga cholera victims.  

Two people have died and more than 50 others treated in various hospitals in Kiambu and Murang’a counties following a suspected Cholera outbreak at Nyaga Village, Kihumbu-ini Location in Gatanga, Murang’a County.

The two are believed to have succumbed due to continued vomiting and diarrhea, one of them while on his way to hospital, as the other one was receiving treatment in Thika Level 5 Hospital.

County Executive Member for Health Dr. Joseph Ng’ang’a Murega said 14 patients admitted in the hospital have been isolated to prevent spreading of cholera to other patients.

“We have set the samples to our labs so as to ascertain exactly what the cause of the outbreak is. We have also isolated the patients to avoid more infections,” said Dr. Murega.

The CEC added that they were working hand in hand with their counterparts in Murang’a to ensure that the disease was contained at the source.

While visiting the patients at the hospital, Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati Ngugi assured the residents of the area that both the national and the county governments would all things possible to ensure normalcy was restored and they would also assist the victims in clearing of the hospital bills and in burial arrangements.

“We are also looking into the problem of water in Kihumbu-ini Location and very soon we will sink several boreholes to supplement the available water supply network,” said the MP.

According to the victims we talked to, it was suspected that they consumed contaminated water from Gathwariga River where the residents draw their water. They said that all those affected had consumed water from this source.

“This water has been so contaminated. Those living upstream wash their clothes, bathe and even wash cars and motorbikes from this river. This water flow downstream and is consumed by people around Nyaga area,” said John Ndung’u Mwangi whose mother, father, nephew and two of his in-laws are admitted for vomiting and diarrhea at Thika Level 5 Hospital.

There are those who suspect that the problem emanated from those who are currently constructing the Gatanga-Nyaga road for contaminating the river water while drawing water with their machines.

Kiambu CEC for Health Dr. Joseph Ng’ang’a Murega (centre) during a media briefing on Sunday afternoon. With him is his Chief officer Dr. Joshua Toro (right) and Thika Level 5 Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Patrick Nyaga.
“The water they are drawing from the river is being distributed to these people at Nyaga trading centre using their tankers after the main water pipes were damaged during the construction,” said one resident.

Another resident suspect that the water was contaminated after one of the resident killed and dumped a neighbour’s dog into the river about two weeks ago.

“This problem did not start today. The first batch of patients was brought to Thika Level Five Hospital two weeks ago with similar symptoms,” he added.

Murang’a County Health Department has set up a screening center at the Kiunyu Health Centre to prevent more referrals and contain the situation.

By the time of going to press, more victims were being brought to Thika Level 5 Hospital and we expect the number to rise as more people are referred to the facility.
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