Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumincha announced that the government is working tirelessly to uncover the cause of an enigmatic disease outbreak in schools in Kakamega, with a recent case affecting Mukumu Girls High School. The Ministry of Health is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine the nature of the illness, which has eluded identification thus far.
In a Friday interview with Citizen TV, Nakhumincha admitted that while they have yet to pinpoint the exact disease, they have been in contact with WHO representatives in Kenya to ensure all available resources are utilized. “If we continue to receive the same results from our laboratories, we will seek assistance from outside Kenya,” she stated.
Heavy rainfall in the region has raised concerns about potential contamination of water sources, as waste discharge could mix with the water supply. Despite these suspicions, Nakhumincha noted that medical experts believe they are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, as the current hypothesis involving a combination of salmonella and enterotoxigenic E. coli bacteria should have rendered the outbreak more manageable.
The mystery illness has already claimed the life of a teacher at Mukumu Girls High School, Julian Mujema, who served as a boarding mistress. After unsuccessful treatment at three different facilities, Mujema was admitted to LifeCare Specialty Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county, where she ultimately passed away. She is survived by two children.
As the investigation into the unknown disease continues, numerous tests are being conducted at laboratories throughout the country, including the government chemist and the National Public Health Laboratory in Nairobi.