One day in 2013 I woke up with symptoms I couldn’t understand. Most symptoms of malaria and typhoid – common ailments – are known.
This particular morning, I woke up with severe muscle and joint pains, headache, nausea and vomiting.
One of my favorite delicacies couldn’t taste like before. Going to the nearest health facility, I was told my problem is dengue fever.
My first encounter with the disease. For the following one week or so, my situation wasn’t good. But with time, I recovered well. vomiting throughout has been the major challenge.
Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Ae. Albopictus.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has one of the world’s fastest-growing burdens.
Despite substantial investments, existing vector control methods such as insecticides, dengue fever control have proved insufficient.
An estimated 500,000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year worldwide, and about 2.5 percent of those affected succumb to the illness.
Mandera County has the largest dengue burden in Kenya. The county’s healthcare budget for 2020/21 was about KSH 2.8 Billion (USD 280 Million).
Despite such a colossal amount of money, the county government has not achieved any tangible result in the healthcare sector.
Dengue has a short-term economic and health effect but there is a looming catastrophe of prolonged disease burden leading to social unrest and instability in the Mandera triangle.
National Institutions like KEMRI and the Ministry of health have focused on duplicating epidemiological studies instead of putting up measures to mitigate the burden of this virus.
The government’s approach to dengue in Mandera is following the template of the security architecture: if it doesn’t cross the Tana Bridge, it won’t affect us.
For the war against dengue to be won, this mentality must change.