Night soil: Kenyans feeding on Sukuma wiki grown in raw sewage

While some city residents have become farmers either by design or default depending on the residential area one resides in, cheap is proving to be life threatening as farmers are now using raw sewage for farming. This means much of the vegetables especially sukuma wiki (kales) on sale in Nairobi are highly contaminated and pose a serious health risk to consumers.

A visit to the sewage collection point in Njiru, Nairobi by Linda Shiundu of TUKO.co.ke revealed the effluence deposited there is always tapped and used for farming by farmers living. The farmers who wished to remain anonymous said instead of waiting for the rains, they would rather take advantage of the 75,000 liters of untreated sewage disposed daily to water their crops. They do so by digging trenches from the deposit site channeling the semi solid human waste into their farms which they use to water the crops and as manure. They mainly grow vegetables like sukuma wiki, spinach and other crops like bananas. Sewage deposited at the sewage collection point around Njiru area is always trapped by farmers living around the collection center and use for planting. The vegetables later on find their way into the market and in to the plates and stomachs of many unsuspecting residents. The vegetables later on find their way into the market.

Despite the health risks posed by the exposed raw sewage including, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and even death, open food kiosks are also run next to the disposal site. The kiosks are normally flooded with drivers who bring in the hundreds of lorries daily to deposit the sewage.

3 hospitalized after consuming camel meat in Kenya

George Kithuka of KBC reports that residents of Muruangai village in Samburu central are said to have feasted on the uninspected camel carcass that left them with serious symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.

A mother and her two children are among residents of Muruangai village admitted to the Samburu county referral hospital for close monitoring.

According to a nurse at the facility, the patients were brought to the hospital complaining of severe diarrhea and vomiting.

The sub county disease surveillance coordinator says his office received a call that an entire village was complaining of similar symptoms and on arrival, it was established that residents had consumed uninspected meat.

Six die in Kenya after consuming camel meat

Six people have died in Tiaty Village, Baringo County after consuming meat from the carcass of a camel.

camel-meat-for-sale-in-a-market-in-the-gold-mining-are-of-northern-dj02h2The six died Wednesday afternoon at Akwachatis Clinic in the county after doctors tried for a week to treat them.

According to doctors of at the clinic, the six were among over 100 people alleged to have consumed the meat last week.

“They all came here complaining of stomach pains and diarrhea. It is then that we found out that they had consumed meat from the carcass of a camel that died as a result of disease without knowing that that the sickness was deadly,” said Paul Chebet, a nurse at the clinic.

Two students in Kenya die after E. coli outbreak at school for developmentally challenged

An outbreak of E. coli has claimed the lives of two students at the Meru School for the Mentally Challenged, with several others being admitted to hospital.

e.coli.meru.schoolThe school has been quarantined with medical workers camping there to monitor those under medication and prevent the spread of the bacteria.

Close to 50 pupils with severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea were admitted to hospital but by Tuesday, only 10 were still undergoing treatment.

Meru Health executive William Muraah said the students did not die of cholera as had earlier been reported, adding that food and water contamination could have been the cause of the outbreak.

“Only a conclusive culture test can reveal whether it is cholera. Test results say the students died of E. coli.

Water suspected: 114 sick with Hepatitis A in Kenya

Mombasa residents are living in fear after the county’s health department confirmed that cases of Hepatitis A infections have risen from 21 to 114 as at Tuesday this week.

mqdefaultCounty officials on Wednesday held a crisis meeting to discuss how the menace will be tackled.

Speaking at the Coast General Hospital on Wednesday, the Mombasa County government Secretary Francis Thoya said that the outbreak has sent county health officials into panic mode.

Thoya said the rate at which the cases are increasing is disturbing, adding that the county is working round the clock to stabilise the situation.

“We have set aside eleven million shillings to tackle the problem before it gets out of hand,” said Thoya.

It’s out of control.

‘It’s hysteria’ 100 girls sickened in Kenya

Over 100 students from Naivasha Girls Secondary School were over the weekend treated for stomach ache and diarrhea.

Naivasha Girls Secondary SchoolThe students developed complications due to what was suspected to be a case of food poisoning. Majority of them were taken to Naivasha Hospital while others were treated on the school compound. Medical officers, however, could not ascertain whether it was a case of of food poisoning or not but alluded that the incident had an element of hysteria.

Of the students affected, two were admitted at the sub-county referral hospital and doctors said were in stable condition. A source said the problem started after a group of students started complaining of stomach ache and diarrhea. “Later, more students reported the same symptoms forcing public health officers to be called in to assess the situation,” said the source.

The officer in charge of the sub-county hospital, Joseph Mburu, said the two cases admitted at the facility were being closely monitored. He said they were suffering from hysteria but were in stable condition and would be released soon. “Though majority of the affected students were complaining of food poisoning, there is an element of hysteria in the whole situation,” said Dr Mburu. County Public Health Officer Samuel King’ori said the situation at the school had been contained.

Shigella from sugar peas in Scandinavia

The peas apparently came from Kenya. But that wouldn’t fit the alliteration.

Eurosurveillance reports that in Norway, shigellosis is a mandatorily notifiable disease, and all isolates are submitted to the NIPH for verification and typing. Around 150 cases of shigellosis are confirmed per year, the majority caused by Shigella sonnei. Only around 10 to 20 of the shigellosis cases reported each year are acquired in Norway, usually as secondary cases caused by faecal-oral transmission in households.

An outbreak investigation was initiated on 27 May by interviewing the four confirmed cases using a trawling questionnaire. On the same day the NFSA inspectors visited the two households where suspected cases were reported and found an unopened package of sugar peas imported from Kenya in one household, and the packing of the same brand of sugar peas in the other. The sugar peas were bought in the same shop. Based on this suspicion, it was decided to focus the interviews on consumption of fresh vegetables and lettuce.

By 16 June, the reference laboratory has registered a total of 20 cases with the outbreak strain of Shigella sonnei, who had not travelled abroad prior to illness onset. The cases live in different municipalities, but mainly in the central and western parts of Norway. The date of onset for the first case was 10 May. All cases were adults except for one teenager, and 16 of them were women. All 20 cases reported to have eaten sugar peas, and there were no other obvious common exposures identified. The majority of the patients had bought the sugar peas in one of the large supermarket chains and only a few in another chain. The NFSA traced the suspected food product and found that all the implicated sugar peas were produced in Kenya. One sample from the unopened package of sugar peas collected in a patient household was positive for Shigella sonnei by both PCR methods, but could not be culture-confirmed.

As a response to our urgent inquiry Denmark reported an increase in the number of domestic Shigella sonnei infections in April and May 2009. They initiated an outbreak investigation to find out if the Danish cases were related to the outbreak in Norway. The investigation in Denmark also pointed at sugar peas as the source of the outbreak, and microbiological investigations (including MLVA typing) to compare the outbreak strains are ongoing.