First lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on county governments to develop strategies that improve sanitation and waste disposal in the various localities.
She said the recent deaths of 14 people and hospitalisation of another 70 in Nakuru County, due to cholera, are indicative of the need to boost the fight against preventable diseases.
“We have to re-think our hygiene standards, not only in our public eating places but right from our homes if we have to keep preventable diseases such as cholera at bay in the future,” she added.
The First Lady spoke today at Afraha Stadium Annex during the handing over of the 25th fully kitted Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic to Nakuru County.
Cholera is associated with dirt and the runaway disease has hit hard areas without clean piped water and reliable sewerage disposal systems.
Nakuru remains a high risk zone due to its central location with travelers from other counties making stop-overs in Nakuru before proceeding to their destinations.
The cholera outbreak therefore calls for inter-county cooperation to contain the disease. Leaders should also not be ashamed of addressing the epidemic due its link to unhygienic conditions.
Men are hardest hit due to their habits of eating and drinking chang’aa in dingy illicit brew dens.
The First Lady also urged Nakuru County residents to beware of the dangerous locations along the Northern Great road which have become serious transmission points for HIV /AIDS.
“The highway which traverses through your great county is an important transport corridor and is critical to the economy of Nakuru. Let us however be aware of its negative effects in the spread of diseases such as HIV /AIDS,” she said.
Besides the burden of HIV/AIDS, the First Lady said the country, like the rest of the world, is witnessing an increasing number of cancer cases affecting Kenyans of all ages, gender and social status.
She encouraged all Kenyans to adopt lifestyles that involved exercises and eating habits that protect their bodies from the wasteful disease -cancer.
Kenya is set to host the 9th Breast, Cervical and Prostrate Cancer in Africa Conference (SCCA) this July, the First Lady said adding “we must eat healthy traditional foodstuff that are rich in vitamins and minerals to keep cancer at bay”.
The First Lady said she was delighted that the 25th Beyond Zero mobile clinic delivered to Nakuru will serve mothers and children in a county that truly reflects the true face of Kenya.
“Nakuru County is one of the most cosmopolitan and culturally diverse counties in the country that host almost all the 42 communities of our country who co-exist peacefully,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady also asked youth in Nakuru town to take advantage of the recently launched free Wi-Fi connectivity to lower overheads in their business start-ups.
“Besides, free wi-fi provides an opportunity for the young people to venture into online businesses which are currently driving the global financial markets” she added.
Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said his government will intensify efforts to ensure hygiene standards are adhered to in all public eating places.
He echoed the First Lady’s call on the county residents to maintain high standards of cleanliness in their homes to keep cholera and other preventable diseases at bay in future.
Others who spoke included local MPs David Gikaria (Nakuru East), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West), Subukia MP Nelson Gaichuhie and Nakuru Women Rep Mary Mbugua.