Lamu children infected with bilharzia risk anemia

Lamu children infected with bilharzia risk anemia

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Lamu children playing by the beach. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Hundreds of children between the ages of 6 to 14 in Lamu County are at risk of acquiring anemia.

The children from Chalaluma,Lumshi,Maisha Masha, Amkeni, Mswakini and Kwasasi villages in Lamu county are reportedly the most affected.

This follows an outbreak of bilharzia that has affected many children in the aforementioned villages.

According to Harrison Kalu,a senior health officer in Lamu county, over 30% of children in the mentioned villages are suffering from bilharzia.

Kalu said due to the illness many of the affected children were losing a lot of blood through urination.

“The children urinate blood in their urine and since the problem is happening daily,the rate at which most are becoming anemic is alarming;to stop the anemia we have to address the bilhazia,”said Kalu.

He said the illness is as a result of using and ingesting dirty infected water by residents following the ongoing drought in various parts of the county.

Kalu added that in the last three months they had been able to diagnose and treat a number of children with bilharzia, but said the number of those who still required medical attention was still high.

He however lauded the county government of Lamu for efforts made to address the issue including purchase of adequate drugs and medication to fight the illness.

“You know the way bilharzia manifests with blood coming out during urination,most people are ashamed to come forward and get treatment.people should come out and bring all affected children too.we know there is too much use of dirty water.there are enough drugs to treat it,”said Kalu.

The officer said the reason why the illness was spreading so fast was because many residents in the affected villages have no clear understanding of the illness.