Beware of these diseases during El-Nino

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The long awaited El-Nino rains has seen Kenya prepare for all manner of destruction but one Kenyan families may not have taken into consideration is their health. Rains, more so the expected torrential ones come with various diseases but knowing what to expect can see families prepare accordingly.

With rains come cold weather and one of the expected ailments families should watch out for are respiratory ones.
“There will be an increase in infections that affect the breathing system. Kids will get more coughs, more colds. Some may even get pneumonia while those with allergies such as asthma will get more episodes of  wheezing and the ones with sinuses will get more nose blockages,” said Dr. John Wachira, Executive Board Member of Kenya Paediatrics Association and Consultant Paediatrician.

Ailments during the rainy season tend to recur due to overcrowding.
“Becuase of the rains children will not go out to play and with the overcrowding whatever one child has they will pass on to the others resulting in repeated infections,” said Dr. Wachira.

Kenyan families should also eatch out for water-borne diseases which are prevalent during the rainy season.
“With the rains come flooding and sometimes even blockage of our sewer systems which leads to diseases such as diarrhoea. Malaria also becomes common because of  the stagnant pools of water which make great breeding grounds for the mosquitoes,” said Dr. Wachira.

The good news is that prevention against these ailments is very simple and very effective. One of the things Dr.Wachira urges Kenyan families to practise is good hygiene more so when it comes to hand-washing which according to UNICEF can reduce diarrhoea rates by more than 40 per cent.
“As much as we say colds are air-borne diseases, they are also tansmitted by contact therefore hand-washing is necessary to reduce them. One kid will sneeze into their hands then touch another one an infect them,” he said.

“The same goes for diarrhoea. Proper hand-washing can drastically reduce the spread of the disease especially before eating or handling children,” he added.

When it comes to preventing malaria, Dr. Wachira urges families to ensure that they have proper drainage around their homes and clear any bushes.


 

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