Alert: 21 Measles cases detected on Sudanese refugees in Turkana - The Standard

2014-01-19
Article published by The Standard on 19th January, 2014 by Joseph Muraya
Turkana, Kenya: Six new measles cases have been detected at Lopiding sub-district hospital in Turkana County. A source at the institution said new cases of measles infection were detected on Sudanase refugees fleeing fighting in South Sudan. The officer said they are currently treating 21 patients suffering from the highly infectious disease. “We have detected 6 new cases of measles from Sudanese who are arriving in the country and this brings the number of patients to 21,” said one of the nurses who requested anonymity. T Turkana County Women Representative Joyce Emanikor urged the government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to strengthen screening of Sudanase refugees. Emanikor said there is need for the government and UNHCR to conduct proper screening to detect communicable diseases and guns among those seeking refugee at Kakuma refugee camp. “We are calling for proper and strengthened screening exercise at the border to check on spread of communicable diseases and guns. We are aware that one person has died of measles and the situation is worrying,” Emanikor told The Standard. She said the health team at the border need to be strengthened and surveillance stepped in to avoid the smuggling of light firearms to the country. “Apart from health screening, more focus should be given to the proliferation of small firearms. If people are allowed to enter the country with guns, this will compromise security of the country,” she said. She also expressed the need for the UNHCR to back up services at the AIC mission hospital since it was the only health facility at the border.