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WHO pledges support for Chikungunya fight along Kenya coast

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday pledged to partner with Kenya’s Ministry of Health to help contain the highly infectious and mosquito-borne Chikungunya disease in the coastal city of Mombasa.

WHO said a partnership with the ministry of health and Mombasa county government will strengthen monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of new cases.

"We expect these cases to be contained as those affected report to health facilities for proper assessment and management," Rudi Eggers, WHO Representative in Kenya said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He revealed that WHO technical team is already on the ground to help the county government of Mombasa respond effectively to Chikungunya in the wake of soaring infections.

The initial cases of Chikungunya were reported in the middle of December last year in Mombasa Island while new infections surged early this month due to logistical hiccups and limited public awareness.

Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Jan. 4 reported 69 cases of Chikungunya across the Mombasa County and pledged intensified surveillance along timely diagnosis to help contain the epidemic.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has already deployed a rapid response team to strengthen diagnosis of the viral disease whose symptoms include fever, joint pains, headache and nausea.

So far, no casualty has been reported since the Chikungunya outbreak escalated during the festive season thanks to combined efforts of the national and county governments to boost its diagnosis, treatment and management.

The UN agency hailed the county government of Mombasa for setting aside funds to support spraying of mosquito breeding sites, distribution of insecticide-treated nets and public awareness targeting vulnerable communities.

"We support the call by the county government to urge members of the public to report to health facilities for proper assessment and management and to clear bushes and garbage to avoid further breeding of the mosquitoes," said Eggers.


Chicungunya - Mombasa County Health Department 'Advisory'


Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes




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