The Mukumu Girls Tragedy- School Heads, Principals Warned

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has urged primary and secondary school heads in the county to promote good hygiene practices in their schools.

He made the call at Lumakanda in Lugari Sub County during the launch of the upgrading of Lumakanda-Manyonyi road to bitumen standards.

“We closed Mukumu Girls High School due to hygiene issues. So far we have lost four girls from the school. We also closed Butere Boys due to similar sanitation issues,” Barasa said noting that they are still monitoring the situation.

The Governor further disclosed that they have established a joint technical committee comprising of county and national government officials to look into the two schools’ public health matters.

He stated: “We are also waiting for results from Kenya Medical Research Institute to establish the root cause of the deaths.

But I want to caution headmasters and principals. Please let us maintain proper sanitation in our schools. Let us ensure the food we give to the learners is certified and those preparing the food must have proper medical records and certificates. “We cannot compromise on the health of our pupils and students.”

Barasa said that as leaders they will always be at the forefront to ensure schools have proper infrastructure that safeguards the learners’ sanitation.

He said despite health being a devolved function the county will work closely with the national government to mitigate the risks associated with poor sanitation.

Last week the government closed Sacred Heart’s Mukumu Girls High School after over 120 students were hospitalized and two succumbed to suspected food and water poisoning. Days later Butere Boys High School was also closed after over 100 students complained of diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, who visited Sacred Heart’s Mukumu Girls last week in the company of Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, ruled out an outbreak of cholera based on the preliminary findings.

She said more samples of food and water had been taken to the government chemist in Kisumu and to the National Public Health Laboratories in Nairobi for further investigation.

She however disclosed that from preliminary investigations the samples sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute laboratory in Kisumu tested positive for a bacterial infection linked to gastroenteritis (a bacterial infection that causes diarrhoea and vomiting).

She added that some students had been infected with salmonella typhii (typhoid causing bacteria) and ameobiosis (a parasitic infection that causes stomach pain and diarrhoea).

Posted in Breaking Education News.

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