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WHO Deploys 720 First Responders to Aid Kenya’s Flood Crisis, Provide Health Services

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Kenya flood WHO
AP

The African Region Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO), on Wednesday, said it has taken action in response to the flooding crisis in Kenya by deploying over 720 trained first responders to provide health services in the 192 camps established by the government and its partners in flood-affected areas.

In addition to the deployment of personnel, WHO said it has procured essential medical supplies, including 87 cholera kits, 58 interagency kits, and 20 pneumonia kits, to treat ten thousand people in the affected counties.

Since March, relentless torrential rains, attributed to the El Nino weather pattern, have wreaked havoc across Kenya, resulting in numerous casualties and widespread displacement.  The devastating impact of flash floods has been felt deeply, with roads and entire communities submerged, affecting over 293,000 people,  and displacing 55,000 households with a toll of 257 reported deaths.

According to Dr Pius Mutuku, medical epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health, 14 health facilities have closed and a major water treatment plant has been affected by flooding, leading to a shortage of potable water for 3000 people. Additionally, Tana River County, one of the hardest-hit areas, has reported forty-four cases of cholera.

In response to this crisis, the Kenyan government has initiated a multisectoral emergency response, led by the Kenya Disaster Emergency Operations Centre in Nairobi, where information from the 33 affected counties is gathered for analysis and decision-making.

Also, with support from the WHO and other health bodies, the National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre is managing the situation, with approximately 36 staff overseeing the health response.

“WHO will continue to support the health emergency response and remain vigilant for disease outbreaks that can easily spread if not quickly contained. We must be agile and ready to respond, led by government and along with the partners, to bring relief to hundreds and thousands of affected people,” Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, WHO representative in Kenya, said.

Read: Kenyan Government Demolishes Flood-Prone Homes, Offers $75 Aid

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