Dengue Fever Outbreak Overwhelms Northeastern Kenyan Town; WHO Sends Essential Drugs

“An outbreak of dengue fever in Mandera, northeastern Kenya, is spreading fast, with at least 5,000 people infected within weeks, due to limited health facilities, a shortage of medical personnel and poor sanitation, officials told IRIN.” The news service writes, “A statement by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation on 26 September said four deaths from the disease had been confirmed but, according to Mandera residents, at least 10 people have died since early September when the outbreak started.”

“With only one public hospital and a few private clinics, medical officials in the town — which borders Ethiopia and Somalia — said the facilities were congested with dengue fever patients and they were unable to cope,” IRIN notes. Mohamed Sheikh, the provincial public health and medical officer, told IRIN, “In the absence of a specific treatment for dengue fever …  health facilities were providing supportive treatment to the infected,” including Paracetamol for fever, fluids for dehydration and antibiotics for infections, the news service notes (9/29). According to the U.N. News Centre, the WHO has provided essential drugs to help treat the outbreak (9/29).