Health workers at the world's largest refugee complex in Kenya are gaining the upper hand in battling a cholera outbreak that has killed 10 people and sickened around 1,000 others since it broke out last month amid rains linked to El Niño.
Cholera, an often fatal water-borne bacterial illness, which causes fever, vomiting and watery diarrhoea, flared up in mid-November at Dadaab, which comprises five camps hosting 347,000 refugees and asylum seekers, the majority fleeing violence in Somalia.
An outbreak control team comprising staff from the UN Refugee Agency and partner agencies, has worked with the Kenyan Health Ministry and Department of Refugee Affairs officials around the clock to treat cases and stamp out the disease at the sprawling complex in North-Eastern Kenya.
Among patients brought to one of four cholera treatment centres set up at Dadaab was two-year-old Faisal, a refugee whose family fled Mogadishu, Somalia. The toddler tested positive for the illness and was admitted to the hospital, where his condition stabilized and improved after three days of treatment.
"We don't know what caused the cholera but thank God, he is better now … He got a lot of fluid here, I am happy," said Faisal's father, 32-year-old Ahmed, who seemed satisfied with the treatment his son received in the hospital.
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