Cholera, visceral leishmaniasis outbreaks reported in Kenya
NAIROBI - Cholera and visceral leishmaniasis diseases have been exerting huge pressure on Kenya's public health budget since the beginning of this year, said a Ministry of Health report released on Monday.
The report, titled "Diseases outbreak situation in Kenya since January 2019," said 37 cholera-related deaths and 34 visceral leishmaniasis-related deaths were reported during the period.
It said cholera cases were reported in 12 counties in northern, eastern and Nairobi regions, and visceral leishmaniasis-caused deaths and confirmed cases in four counties in semi-arid northern Kenya.
According to the World Health Organization, visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala-azar, is characterized by irregular bouts of fever, substantial weight loss, swelling of the spleen and liver, and anemia.
If untreated, the fatality rate in developing countries could be as high as 100 percent within two years.
The health ministry report said the two communicable diseases have been common within Nairobi's low-income eastern suburbs areas and Hagdera and Ifo refugee camps in the northeastern county of Garissa.
It attributed the outbreaks to limited resource for surveillance and rapid response by county teams, poor reporting from some of the affected counties, inadequate multisectoral engagement, weak enforcement of public health laws and poor health-seeking behaviors of affected communities.