Cholera outbreak has been the talk of town for the past few weeks. It is considered as a disease of the poor people because it is associated with poor sanitation but this is not the case as it has not spared the rich as well.
Cholera is caused by drinking or eating contaminated foods especially those sold by street vendors. By contaminated foods I mean food that contains faecal matter carrying bacterium of the infected person.
Another very rampant cause is raw or undercooked fish and seafood caught in waters polluted with sewage. the municipal water supplies can be another cause as it might get contaminated.
The Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA) held a meeting a couple of weeks ago with the Chiefs and Community Health Workers of Nakuru town to discuss some of the sensitization methods that can be used to reach people.
Among issues discussed also were the process of creation of awareness, prevention methods and processes of enlightening the common man as far as the disease is concerned. Many of them attested that they had already started the awareness creation through holding baraza’s, forums and meetings with the community members. They were thankful because people turn up in large numbers to acquire information.
One of the Community Health workers, Caleb discussed his experiences and what they do in Kapkures ward on the issue. He is a living example for all the other Community health works as he explains the hurdles he goes through each and every single day in sensitizing the community.
“We go from one house to the other, just trying to show people how to wash their hands through practical experiments,” he explains.
Caleb says sometimes it becomes difficult where people are hostile but he has to convince until they think otherwise. For him, community work has always been his first priority therefore he is always prepared for the obstacles that come with it.
During the meeting, we found out that one man who had relocated from Nairobi to Nakuru had almost lost his life to cholera. The man is said to have excessively diarrhoead in his house thinking it was a normal condition like any other. Luckily for him, some good Samaritans who had found him in the toilet had dashed him to the nearby health facility.
The man had been diagnosed with cholera and given medication thereafter.
Another occurrence of young children around Bondeni area who play with sewage water was brought to the table. The participants were urged to ensure that they always preach the gospel of proper hygiene to parents and the need to keep their children out of these areas.
It was also found out that the same area has a leaking sewage though some traders were vending foods like chips there. This is a big threat to the people living around and the chiefs resolved to report the situation to the county government.
It is absolutely correct to conclude that the sensitization process in Nakuru town went on very well and the number of people infected with cholera is going down.