OPEDPublished Stories

Public health leadership the answer

A lady washes utensils next to sewage on Kirinyaga Road, Nairobi, on July 20, 2017. Burst sewers are now an eyesore on city roads, and it has never been easier for water to be contaminated. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


When whispers about a possible cholera outbreak at a top hotel in Nairobi began circulating in the blogs three weeks ago, it was a narrative that was dismissed as an isolated case of food poisoning.

However, within hours, the murmurs turned into roars when doctors and other participants at a health conference were treated for symptoms that clearly pointed towards cholera.

I was at that ill-fated conference. I enjoyed a delicious meal served in take-away lunch boxes, but nothing indicated that there would be such a public health scare until 10 doctors later began complaining of abdominal discomfort and other telltale signs of cholera, including vomiting and diarrhoea.

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