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El Nino rains: Health ministry scales up disease surveillance

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The Ministry of Health has enhanced surveillance to tackle any potential health emergencies that may be triggered by the anticipated El Nino rains.

This is in response to a warning issued last week by the weatherman of heavy downpours from the months of October to December 2023 across various parts of the country as a result of the El Nino conditions.

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Addressing the media on Wednesday, August 30, the department’s Director General David Gikungu said that the long rains are expected to start in September and shall continue until January next year.

Previously the climatic condition has exacerbated the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases as well as trigger other major communicable epidemics.

Public Health and Professional Standards Permanent Secretary Mary Muthoni said the ministry has scaled up preparedness adding that it is monitoring the situation for any waterborne diseases like Cholera for early detection of outbreaks.

The country has already reported a cholera outbreak with 12,079 cases and 200 deaths in 27 counties confirmed.

She further said vaccination campaigns had been intensified to combat Cholera and Polio in areas susceptible to the outbreaks.

Additionally, she said they would implement flood control measures as part of their emergency response including ensuring that homes have access to clean and safe water whereas hospitals have adequate medical supplies.

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