Reprieve for Mwingi Residents After Ministry of Health Intervenes to End Kala-Azar Disease

Mwingi residents especially those residing in Mwingi North constituency have something to smile about after the County and National Government Ministry of Health agreed to curb the spread of zoonotic disease Kala Azar.

Stakeholders from Zoonotic Disease Unit (ZDU) visited health CECM Dr. Winnie Kitetu to establish strategies that can be applied to reduce the burden of zoonotic diseases in the county, under the One Health Approach strategy.

Kala Azar is one of the zoonotic diseases which has been common in the area because it borders Tana River and herders come to Mwingi to search for pasture for the camels.

While addressing members of the Kitui County Health Management Team, Dr. Daniel Chepkwony who led the Zoonotic Disease Unit Team revealed that the ‘One Health’ approach will collaborate with various ministries in the county to ensure that they curb the spread of Kala Azar and other zoonotic diseases in Kitui.

Chepkwony said that they will be working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation; and the Ministry of Environment, Tourism, and Natural Resources.

The Health CECM thanked the stakeholders from ZDU for choosing Kitui County especially since there have been serious cases of Zoonotic diseases in Mwingi North which have been a threat to the residents. She affirmed that they will work together to see the success of the program and curb the spread of the disease especially since the county has health care workers who are sensitizing the community on KalaAzar disease.

Kala Azar disease is an infectious disease caused by the Leishmania parasites spread by sandfly bites which are mostly found in camels and are spread from the camels to humans. The sandflies have been invading the people from Mwingi North since they are found in camels from Tana River which come to graze in the areas. According to statistics, over 60 people have died from the disease in the last four years in Mwingi North.

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