KENYA – In a concerning incident, 148 students from Ikonge Girls Secondary School in Nyamira County, Kenya, have been rushed to various hospitals over suspected water or food poisoning. 

The students reportedly complained of stomachache and lower abdominal pain, prompting immediate action from education and health authorities.

Nyamira North Subcounty Director of Education, Clare Oyula, confirmed the reports, stating that the affected students were quickly admitted to Mogumo Health Centre and Ekerenyo sub-county hospital for medical attention. Thankfully, most of the students are currently in stable condition and are expected to be discharged soon.

County Health CEC Timothy Ombati revealed that three students are in critical condition and have been transferred to Nyamira County Referral Hospital for specialized treatment. 

A team of public health officials has been dispatched to the school to investigate the root cause of the outbreak and to prevent further cases.

The recent surge in food poisoning cases has raised concerns among parents, educators, and health authorities. 

This incident comes after the tragic Mukumu Girls case, where three students and one staff member lost their lives due to a bacterial outbreak. Over 500 students from the school were affected, with 124 of them requiring admission to the Kakamega County Medical Hospital.

The Kenyan Ministry of Health identified Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Salmonella as the two culprits responsible for the Mukumu Girls outbreak. The ongoing court case has brought allegations of negligence against the school from the families of the deceased students.

In another alarming incident last month, Munyeki Primary School in Nyandarua County reported a case of water contamination. The head cook discovered foam in the water, raising immediate concerns about the safety of the water supply in the institution.

As authorities continue to investigate the situation in Ikonge Girls Secondary School, the community remains on edge, demanding answers and swift action to prevent further harm.

 The well-being of students is paramount, and the Ministry of Health must work tirelessly to identify the source of contamination and implement stringent measures to safeguard the health and safety of students across the nation.

The incidents serve as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining strict food safety and hygiene standards in educational institutions. Parents and guardians are now more vigilant than ever, urging schools to prioritize the health and well-being of their students above all else. 

Collaborative efforts between school authorities, health officials, and the community are essential in preventing such outbreaks and ensuring a safe learning environment for every child.

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