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Poor sanitation and hawking of food to blame for diseases 

Two women hawking food and drinking water in Nakuru town, the food is wrapped in a green bag. Some of the food is cooked by the road side, and keeps on being contaminated by dirt from passing vehicles.




The increasing number of patients seeking medical attention in Nakuru County for typhoid and diarrhea cases has been attributed to poor sanitation and hawking of food.

 

The Nakuru County Director for Public Health, Samuel Kingori, who was speaking in an interview with KNA  said a study carried by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health in 2013 proved that the country spends Sh.28 billion annually in treating sanitation related diseases.

 

He said that despite the shocking revelation of the 2013 study, nothing much has changed, and many people were not following simple hygienic requirements like washing hands after using the toilet.

University students emerging from an illegal food Kibanda in Nakuru town

University students emerging from an illegal food Kibanda in Nakuru town

 

He added that the reoccurrence and frequent outbreak of cholera in the country was proof that sanitation related issues were still being ignored by many people in the country.

 

Kingori also faulted the hawking of food in towns and the mushrooming of eating makeshift food vibandas in almost all towns in the country.

 

“Eating in uninspected eateries is an invitation for cholera, diarrhea, or typhoid, and yet many people argue that they cook fresh food, and they are cheap compared to hotels,” he added.

 

According to Kingori, the disease burden for the health sector was too high, and the sanitation related diseases needlessly preoccupy health workers time, instead of them concentrating on unavoidable sicknesses.

 

He said the Nakuru County Public Health Department was carrying out a survey on illegal eateries which lack public health inspection certificates.

 

He urged Kenyans to change their eating habits and save the country from preventable sanitation diseases, which consumes a huge percentage of the health budget. He also advised those who cannot afford to eat in inspected hotels to carry packed food in clean containers.

 

Kingori said in Nakuru town there over 200 illegal eateries, and worse still tea, Mandazis, Chapatis and cooked food was carried in Ciondos on people’s backs and hawked throughout the town.

 

By Veronica Bosibori

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