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Fear grips school after 200 students fall ill

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Fear has gripped Kituro Secondary School in Baringo county after over 200 students were taken ill as a result of suspected food poisoning.

Baringo County Director of Education, Willy Mochocho, confirmed the incident, saying he had dispatched a team of health officers to establish the cause.

Mr Mochocho, who spoke at the Baringo County education offices, was quick to allay fears that there was a cholera outbreak in the school and other learning institutions in the county. He said that he had been briefed by health officers, who confirmed that no case of cholera had been reported.

Agnes Chesire, Baringo Central Sub- County public health officer said they have gone round the school from the classrooms , kitchen, dormitory and the washrooms to check on sanitation and hygiene of the school.

Ms Chesire, who spoke outside the school gate, said from the inspection, sanitation was okay hence that might not be the cause.

She said that from the blood tests done at Kituro dispensary on Tuesday, only one student out of 130 students who were admitted at the facility was found to be positive from malaria, the rest only had headache and stomachache symptoms which were not signs of cholera.

The health officer who was accompanied by the sub-county health management team said they suspected the students could have eaten expired breads from the school canteen.

They said they will check on the canteen owner if he may have sold stale bread to the students that might have led to the food poisoning.

The School Principal, Selina Rotich, said students started complaining of headache and stomachache after taking their breakfast on Monday morning and they suspect that the bread from the school canteen must have been contaminated.

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Mrs Rotich noted that the School administration was prompted to act swiftly by organizing for transport to rush the sick students to the Kituro dispensary to seek medical attention.

She, however, called for calm among the parents and public saying that cholera had been ruled out as none of the tests came out positive for the disease.

“I want to allay fears from the parents and the public that the cause of illness is not cholera and our students are very much safe,” said Mrs Rotich.

She also said that from the 200 cases, some students have been sent home for further medication while others were still given permission today to be attended by doctors as other returned back to school from treatment for their final term this year.

The management, however, barred journalists from entering the school compound, saying that their presence might create anxiety and possible unrest among students.

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