Mukumu Girls School Students Die, Probe Begins
Officials from the Ministry of Education have been dispatched to Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega County to investigate the deaths of two students.
The deaths are linked to a malaria outbreak at the school last month.
Stephen Barongo, Western Region Coordinator of Education, told Nation.Africa on Tuesday that the team expects to submit the report to the Ministry of Education by tomorrow.
Dickson Ogonya, the director of education for Kakamega County, will lead the team.
“We have instructed the ministry of education on the ground to visit the school and investigate the reports relating to the deaths of students and prepare a report that will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for action,” said Mr Barongo.
He stated that the officials will need to speak with students, teachers, and other school personnel before compiling their report.
One of the students is said to have had a pre-existing condition and died while receiving malaria treatment.
On Thursday, the student will be buried. Her colleague was said to have developed complications after undergoing surgery.
It’s unclear why the learner had the surgery or what she was suffering from.
However, parents have complained about the school administration’s slow response to cases of malaria outbreaks after 28 students were hospitalized with fever and diarrhea in May of this year.
Parents who spoke to the Nation said their children complained of fever, stomach pains, and fatigue after the school closed on June 30.
Some parents took to social media to express their displeasure with how the school administration handled the situation. Another ten students were allegedly rushed to the hospital for treatment after developing a fever and persistent headaches.
The parents have accused the school’s administration of failing to communicate about their children’s health after they became ill.
Dr Collins Matemba, the Kakamega County executive for Health Services, said samples taken from students who fell ill in May revealed they had malaria.
Dr. Matemba stated that a team from the Ministry of Health’s Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Response Unit was dispatched to the school to investigate the outbreak and compile a report.
Dr Matemba. established that there was a malaria outbreak at the school, and said measures have been taken to address the issue and ensure learners’ safety.
The school has written to parents, requesting that they ensure that their children receive medical examinations and present the results when school reopens on July 12.
“We have experienced many students falling sick and missing school. The government has covered your daughter under Edu-Afya Scheme. Kindly ensure she has a clean bill of health before reporting back for Term Two with the medical report,” said the communication to parents.
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Dr Matemba stated that county government public health teams had recommended that the dormitories be fumigated to keep mosquitoes at bay.
The school had asked parents to make sure their children had a mosquito net to keep mosquito bites at bay at night.