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Medical personnel issue alert over guinea worm disease outbreak in Turkana

CaptureAn alert has been issued over Guinea worm disease in Turkana County by medical personnel.

Turkana County Director of Health Stephen Ekitela said several pastoralists families living along the Southern Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia borders are at high risk of guinea worm infection.

Dr Ekiteal said the World health Organisation (WHO) has already issued an alert over guinea worm outbreak in Turkana County and the neighbouring countries.

High risk

“We are at high risks of disease following reports that some cases of guinea worm infection have been reported in the neighbouring countries”, Ekitela said. He said Turkana pastoralists families, who are cross the border into neighbouring countries in search of water and pastures for the animals are especially at a high risk of contracting the disease.

Dr Ekitela said an alert has been issued to border satellite medical facilities across the region to report suspected cases of the disease.

Reports indicate that last month WHO trained delegates from Kenya, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, and Uganda on how to combat the infection.

Turkana County Coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Disease Sylvester Eoko, who was among the delegates, said they will initiate a cross border surveillance of the disease to contain its spread.

“We cannot rest until guinea worm disease threats have been brought to control,” Eoko said.

He said they have also enhanced alert mechanism to deal with the threats.

He appealed to the locals to report suspected cases of guinea worm infection outbreak to assist the disease surveillance team respond promptly.

Mr Eoko said there will be a cash reward of shillings 100,000 for anyone who reports suspected cases of guinea worm disease.

The disease is caused by drinking contaminated water and has been reported in humans, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and other animals in Asia and Africa.

-Health

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