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Two inmates die of cholera at Shimo la Tewa prison

21 May 2015, 09:20 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - Two prisoners from the giant Shimo La Tewa prison in Mombasa were on Wednesday reported to have died of the cholera disease which broke out in the facility this week.

Officer in charge of the facility, Samuel Nyutu said one of the prisoners identified as Hamisi Guzo Samba, who was facing defilement charges started showing symptoms on Tuesday.

The prison which is located along the Mombasa-Malindi highway has thousands of inmates, raising health concerns.

Health Officials toured the facility on Monday when the officers reported cholera symptoms and were able to contain the situation.

The second victim identified as Eric Omondi Odhiambo succumbed at around 1.00 am on Wednesday.

A combined medical and public health team from Mombasa and Likoni sub-Counties, headed by Medical Officer of Health in Kisauni Dr Meera Shah and Dr Chidagaya who is in charge of disease surveillance in the County, visited the institution on Wednesday.

Read Also: Kenya's cholera death toll hits 65

He said the officers administered preventive drugs to inmates before declaring the situation safe.

Another inmate showing cholera symptoms was taken to Coast Provincial General Hospital where at least six more patients with similar symptoms were being monitored at an isolation ward.

According to the Regional Prisons Commander at the Coast, James Kodieny, apart from the two inmates who died, 30 others have shown diarrhea symptoms and have been isolated.

Kodieny said the facility has established an isolation ward where the health of those affected will be regularly checked.

"Preventive measures have been put in place to ensure the situation is under control. We expected the outbreak in our prisons since the cases had already been reported in other areas like Likoni and Kisauni which are our major catchment areas but there is no need to panic," said Kodieny.

Deputy Chief Administrator at the coast general hospital, Dr Mary Ochola told journalists that seven patients have been admitted, some of them being inmates from the Shimo la Tewa prison.

Dr Ochola said another center has been opened at Mwembe Tayari health facility to handle patients showing cholera symptoms to curb its spread.

“We have taken blood samples of those brought here and we are doing analysis and will be able to verify results within 24 hours,” Ochola added.

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