Cholera outbreak in Kenya hits Dadaab Refugee Camp

DWB opens treatment centers for cholera in Kenyan refugee camps. | Courtesy of Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders (DWB) reported this week that cholera has spread to the Dadaab Refugee Camp, affecting approximately 541 people.

DWB is currently supporting the outbreak mitigation effort in Kenya, working with the country’s ministry of health. The group is currently providing epidemic control and medical care in 17 counties. According to the report, the outbreak has been going on for over one year in Kenya.

The Dadaab complex saw its first cholera case on Nov. 23. DWB officials believe this outbreak is a result of insufficient hygiene capabilities and sanitation services at refugee camps.

“Refugees, who are entirely dependent on aid, are now paying the price for services that have not been properly maintained over the last few years due to funding cuts from donors,” DWB Head of the Kenya Mission Charles Gaudry said. “There are insufficient latrines for the population size, and they have not received soap for the last two months. In addition to the ongoing cholera outbreak, the number of patients in the hospital has also doubled over the last week -- children are the most affected, including many who have malnutrition.”

The DWB reports that seven people had died from cholera as of Dec. 17. Approximately 300 patients have been admitted to DWB treatment care at the camp.

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