KENYA: Floods hit thousands, including IDP camps

KENYA: Floods hit thousands, including IDP camps

NAIROBI, 2 April 2008 (IRIN) – At least 6,000 people have been affected by flooding following heavy rains in the southern coastal district of Taveta, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said.

“Three primary schools have also been closed temporarily after being submerged,” Anthony Mwangi, the KRCS Public Relations Manager said on 1 April. “The water levels in some areas are up to chest level.”

Groups of people have been marooned, with transport services also affected, he said. Continue reading

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KENYA: Sexual violence continues in IDP camps

KENYA: Sexual violence continues in IDP camps

NAKURU, 4 March 2008 (PlusNews) – Residents in a camp for displaced persons in Nakuru, in Rift Valley Province, western Kenya, were deeply shocked when a gang of men attacked and sexually assaulted five boys, but the health officials dealing with sexual violence during the recent political upheaval have had to become immune.

“Since the violence started we are seeing similar numbers of cases to what we would normally see over the same timespan, but there is one major difference: 90 percent of the cases we are seeing since the political crisis began are gang rapes,” said Lucy Kiama, head of the Gender Violence Recovery Centre at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. “The gangs range from groups of two men to as many as eleven.”

An estimated 300 women have been treated for rape since the year began, many of them women and girls who had travelled from Rift Valley Province to the capital, Nairobi, often a journey of hundreds of kilometres that could take many hours by bus. Continue reading

KENYA: Displacement raises risk of drug-resistant TB

KENYA: Displacement raises risk of drug-resistant TB


Photo: Siegfried/IRIN
The national referral hospital has already seen seven new cases of MDR-TB from one IDP camp in the capital, Nairobi

NAIROBI, 2 April 2008 (PlusNews) – The threat of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been heightened by the displacement of an estimated 300,000 people in Kenya’s recent political crisis, health workers have said.

“During the violence, many displaced people were disrupted from their lives, which meant disruption from drugs,” said Dr Henderson Irimu, head of the HIV/TB treatment care at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the country’s largest referral hospital. “Due to the violence it was impossible for people to come for medication.”

Irimu said there had been an increase in MDR-TB, a form of the disease that does not respond to standard treatment, usually because of a failure to complete first-line treatment. When patients are co-infected with HIV, it is often lethal.

“So far we have seven new cases of MDR-TB who were brought at the hospital from Mathare internally displaced settlement [in the capital, Nairobi],” he said. “Some would come and admit to not having taken TB medication since the violence began.” Continue reading