Ailing Tana River locals avoid hospitals over fears of being tested for COVID-19

The Hola Sub-county hospital which is the largest hospital in the County.Ailing residents have been avoiding hospitals over fears of being tested for COVID-19PHOTO COOURTESY

Tana River locals who might be ailing from Malaria and other waterborne diseases are avoiding hospitals over fears of being tested for COVID-19.

This is according to the Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Hussein Dado.

”I am in Tanariver today, I visited some camps and I discovered that after the floods as is normal with Tanariver, a serious outbreak of malaria is looming,” he said.

He said already people have started showing signs of Malaria but they are afraid of going to the hospital because they believe if they go to the hospital they will be tested for COVID 19.

Dado said Malaria has a higher fatality rate than coronavirus and urged the residents to go to the hospital whenever they feel unwell.

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”Not everything is the corona, there are other diseases that have been with us that are more dangerous than corona which can kill people more than corona,” he said.

Dado who has been on a tour of Tana River county said there are also fears of a cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases among the flood victims who are living in camps following the floods that displaced over 48,000 people in the county.

Speaking in Tanadelta, he said the outbreaks are also feared in Lamu West, Garissa, Tana North, and even in western Kenya areas which were all affected by the floods disaster.

Tana River is the only coastal county that has not recorded a case of Coronavirus as the virus creeps in neighboring Lamu County and ravages nearby Mombasa County.

A few months ago, experts had warned that the floods that were hindering social distancing among affected locals could hamper efforts to fight the deadly virus.

So far he said floods are subsiding and people will soon be going back to their homes which were affected by the disaster to rebuild them.

He said the government would do its part but appealed to humanitarian organizations and wellwishers to also intervene and help in the reconstruction process.

Dado said the biggest challenge faced by the flood victims is rebuilding the houses and crops which were submerged.

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The areas affected most included the Tanadelta and the upper Tana which have areas that had massive losses.

The CAS said counties affected should ensure they use boats in areas that are inaccessible to make visits at least weekly to monitor any cases of disease outbreaks.