Close to 9,000 children in Nairobi lose their lives due to diarrhoea according to the Director of Health Services, Nairobi County, Dr Ouma Oluga.
“In Nairobi, the number gets to about 8,000 to 9,000 every year because we still have a lot of public health issues,” Oluga said.
Countrywide, close to 30,000 children die yearly due to the disease as reported by The Star.
Diarrhoea is the second cause of child mortality among children under five years, the first being pneumonia.
According to the World Health Organization, 525,000 children die every year globally due to diarrhoea.
WHO has warned that children who are malnourished or have impaired immunity and people living with HIV are most at risk of life-threatening diarrhoea.
“We still have problems with diseases such as HIV with a huge burden of 168,000 people who are living with HIV so diarrheal diseases become part of the opportunist infections that they get,” Oluga said.
He said lack of clean water in Nairobi is the leading cause of the disease saying the borehole water available contains high levels of fluorosis and microbes.
“In Nairobi, there is generally a water issue and therefore many estates have borehole water that comes with very high levels of fluoride. This gives us the moral standing to campaign on issues of fluorosis,” he said.
Interventions to prevent diarrhoea, including safe drinking water, use of improved sanitation and hand washing with soap can reduce disease risk and it should be treated with oral rehydration solution (ORS), a solution of clean water, sugar and salt.