Deadly Fever Hits Kenya
31 January 2007
The North Eastern province is reeling from the effects of drought, followed by flooding
An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya has killed over 150 people so far, and infected more than 400.
Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a highly contagious virus which affects livestock, but can spread to people via mosquitoes or contact with infected animals. Fever victims can suffer liver failure, bleed from the nose and mouth, and may bleed to death. Hundreds of people died during a previous outbreak, ten years ago.
Mosquito NetsRecent flooding has left stagnant pools of water, providing ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes which spread RVF and malaria. The insects have bred rapidly, spreading the deadly virus as they bite.
“Mosquito nets are urgently needed to safeguard women and children from the deadly fever and protect them from malaria for years to come,” said Makki Hamid, Islamic Relief’s Head of Africa Programmes.
IR plans to distribute nets to protect 52,000 children
“We plan to provide mosquito nets to protect 52,000 children and pregnant or nursing mothers”.
Each net costs just £2.50 (around 4 Euros) and can help protect a woman or child from Rift Valley Fever and malaria.
The North Eastern and Coast provinces are worst-hit by the virus. The North Eastern province is still reeling from the devastating effects of a drought, followed by severe flooding.
The drought killed off 70% of the livestock herds on which the pastoralist population depend for their livelihoods. This in turn has resulted in food shortages, poverty and alarming rates of malnutrition.
Young children and pregnant women, already weakened by malnutrition, are at particular risk of infection from RVF virus and other diseases.
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