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MoH warns of disease outbreak due to heavy rains

Ministry of Health (MoH) warns of a possible increase in disease prevalence due to heavy rains.

The Ministry of Health is working with counties to ensure health facilities are prepared to handle any possible surge of diseases due to the heavy rains pounding the country.

Acting Director General of Health Patrick Amoth said on Tuesday that the nation may see an increase in illnesses and waterborne infections as a result of the widespread floods.

The relevant ministries, agencies and departments are collaborating to ensure mitigation measures are in place to cushion Kenyans from any eventualities.

The Acting MoH DG revealed that the ministry is already working with counties to stockpile essential medical supplies at facilities to avoid any disruptions in healthcare services.

“We have to do surveillance because if we have floods then breeding of vectors including mosquitoes that are vectors for diseases like malaria, Rift Valley Fever will be witnessed so surveillance is one of the key activities that we are being able to undertake,” Amoth said.

“Then we are building our diagnostic capacity in terms of picking up these pathogens that cause diseases and advocacy to the communities those in low land areas potentially to be able to move to high ground so that they are not marooned by the floods.”

In addition, MoH is building the capacity of the healthcare workers to ensure they are ready to handle any eventualities that may arise due to the El Nino rains, and at the same time working with the ministry of water to provide safe drinking water for those that might be in need.

“Preparedness is multi-sectorial cutting across several ministries, departments and agencies as part of the preparations to be able to deal with the El Nino phenomenon,” the DG noted.

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This comes after on Monday the Kenya Meteorological Department confirmed the heavy rainfall experienced in the country is El Nino.

The Kenya Met had earlier predicted that El Nino would hit the country from mid-October to December.

However, President William Ruto said the country will not experience El Nino rains as earlier predicted.

Kenya Met Director David Gikungu said the confusion that existed comes out of associating El Nino with rains.

He said El Nino is not always about rainfall but there are other factors which show El Nino.

“For parts of East Africa, when we have an El Nino event, it is associated with excess rainfall and is not always that way. We have other drivers which we monitor as signals. Yes, it is El Nino, today I have looked at the features and it is positive,” he said.

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