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ADRA Dispatches Mobile Health Teams in Flood-Affected Kenya

Contact: Nadia McGill Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), 301-680-5145, Media.Inquiries@adra.org

 

SILVER SPRING, Maryland, Feb 5 /Standard Newswire/ -- To combat the spread of water- and mosquito-borne illness caused by recent flooding in northeastern Kenya, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is dispatching mobile medical and health education teams in the El Wak and Takaba divisions of the Mandera district.

 

After three years of drought in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya, heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding have caused widespread damage to the homes and livelihoods of an estimated 730,000 in the region. Approximately 3,000 people have been displaced in El Wak alone. Flooding has also damaged food provisions and destroyed the sanitation infrastructure of El Wak and other neighboring communities.

 

Damage to local drainage systems and latrines have led to contaminated water supplies and an increase in diarrhea and other water-borne diseases. In addition, damp and wet conditions have led to an increase in mosquitoes, many of which carry deadly malaria and the Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus. According to World Health Organization reports, a late-December outbreak of RVF in northeastern Kenya has killed at least 120 people and thousands of livestock.

 

"ADRA Kenya first responded to the flooding emergency in mid-November 2006, distributing 1,000 bags of blended foods and 30 metric tons of potato flakes through its supplementary feeding program for vulnerable groups, including under-five malnourished children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and the aged," stated George Baiden, country director for the ADRA office in Kenya. "This activity made it possible to identify gaps that emerged at the height of the floods," he continued.

 

Government officials reported that the number of hospital patients with flood-related and water-borne diseases has nearly tripled in the affected region. "Unfortunately, most of the health institutions in the area neither have the medical supplies nor the staff to handle the increasing levels of morbidity," stated Baiden.

 

To ease the strain on local hospitals and provide accessible health care to residents in the flooded areas, ADRA is partnering with Kenya's Ministry of Health to target at least 2,000 residents with direct medical treatment. In addition, ADRA is working with government and non-governmental agencies to improve the hygiene and sanitation conditions in the flood-affected divisions of the Mandera district.

 

Mobile medical and health education teams will work together to implement the response over a two-month period. The teams will travel to the underserved communities of El Rhemu, Kutayu, Elele, Kutay, Bore Hole Eleven, Finchami, and others within a 90-mile radius.

 

While the medical teams will bring necessary emergency treatment to the communities via mobile clinics, the health education teams will provide information to residents on effective health and sanitation procedures. Equipped with spraying units, the health teams will also partner with local communities to spray potential breeding sites for insects. Households will receive water purification tablets that will allow them to further combat the potential spread of water-borne diseases. Approximately 15,000 residents will benefit from the health education initiative.

 

The project is funded in partnership by ADRA Kenya, the ADRA Africa Regional Office, and ADRA International.

 

ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, or ethnicity. Additional information about ADRA can be found at www.adra.org.