Applications of eHealth in Public Health -kenyan concept-

Applications of eHealth in Public Health -An idea to MoH-

Nairobi — Public Health minister Beth Mugo has downplayed the extent of the cholera outbreak in Kenya two days after its nationwide death toll climbed to 81. According to the minister, some of the reported cases of cholera were in fact cases of diarrhea

While admitting that cases of cholera had been found in Laisamis, Mombasa, Malindi and some of Nairobi’s slums, the minister said the government had taken adequate measures to prevent more deaths.

“The situation is under control. We have sent teams of medics to boost those who were already in the field,” she said during the St John’s Ambulance annual parade in Nairobi on Sunday.

She said the actual numbers of cases of diarrhea would be presented through a detailed report on the cholera situation in the country. “There is no cholera patient in Coast General Hospital. Some of the cases were found to be diarrhea,” she added.

Seven people died of the disease last Friday in Mombasa. Twenty one were confirmed as infected, nine of whom were being treated in an isolation ward at a hospital in the coastal town.

Mrs Mugo said such cases were being treated for both diarrhea and cholera, and warned the public not to ignore diarrhea. “Anybody who starts to diarrhea should rush to the hospital to enable doctors confirm and contain it,” she said, adding that people ought to prevent infections by washing their hands before handling food. She also advised the public to be careful with the water they drink. “People are consuming water they have no clue of its source due to the current water scarcity.”

Cases of the highly contagious disease, which is passed on by eating contaminated food or drinking dirty water, were also reported in Suba, Kisumu, Isiolo, Garbatulla and Moyale. Mrs Mugo said additional health officers had been dispatched to the affected areas to contain the outbreak.

Health experts have appealed to President Kibaki to declare the outbreak a national disaster. At a news conference last week, they said that by declaring the disease a national disaster, the government would be able to mobilise the required resources to tackle the outbreak (Adopt e-health please!!).

They proposed the formation of a multi-disciplinary ministerial committee led by the Prime Minister’s office to tackle the epidemic before it got out of hand.

“It is extremely sad that so many people continue to succumb to this easily preventable and treatable disease in this time and age,” said the chairman of the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa, Dr Daniel Ichang’i.

Its time we in Africa take control of issues and diseases that require so little effort and resources to control but cause havoc to the wider population. e-health solutions that ensure the delivery of the right information about the right individual to the right person at the right place at the right time to enhance health outcomes and improve system efficiency, should be adopted by Ministry of Health (MoH) especially in Kenya where the Fiber Optic cable and mobile phone technology is a reality even in the remote areas of the country. Cholera is an easy disease to control and treat as all it needs is a good public health hygiene education, quick detection and a rapid response by health officials to an outbreak. Its High time the MoH embraced ICT in its operations and information disermination to the general public!!!

  1. wp themes says:

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  3. John says:

    Indeed its time to look at new solutions for old problems that have continued to defy old solutions.

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