Death At School: Investigations Begin Over Mysterious Deaths Of Two Learners.

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The entrance of Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega


At least 28 students were admitted to hospital in a suspected case of Malaria outbreak and possibly other infections.

Ministry of Education officials have been sent to Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School in Kakamega County to investigate the deaths of two students.

The deaths are linked to the outbreak of malaria at the school last month.

Western Region Coordinator of Education Stephen Barongo told Nation. Africa on Tuesday that the team is expected to submit the report to the Ministry of Education by tomorrow.

The team will be led by the Kakamega County director of education Dickson Ogonya.

“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 said the officials will need to talk to students, teachers and other workers at the school before compiling their report.

One of the students is reported to have had a pre-existing condition and succumbed while receiving treatment for malaria.

The student will be buried on Thursday. Her colleague was reported to have developed complications after she underwent an operation.

It is unclear why the learner underwent the operation and what she was suffering from.

But parents have complained about the poor response from the school management to cases of malaria outbreak after 28 students were hospitalised with fever and diarrhoea in May this year.

Parents who spoke to the Nation said their children travelled home after the school closed on June 30, complaining of fever, stomach pains and fatigue.

Some parents took to social media platforms to vent their frustrations at the manner the school management had handled the issue. They claimed another 10 students were rushed to hospital for treatment after developing fever and persistent headaches.

The parents have accused the school’s management of failing to communicate about the condition of their children after they were taken ill.

Kakamega County executive for Health Services Dr Collins Matemba said samples obtained from the students who were taken ill in May indicated they were suffering from malaria.

Dr Matemba said a team from the Ministry of Health Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Response Unit was sent to the school to investigate the outbreak and compile a report.

“We have established that there was an outbreak of malaria at the school and measures have been taken to address the issue and ensure learners are safe,” said Dr Matemba.

The school has written to parents asking them to ensure that the learners are taken for medical checkups and present the reports 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.

Dr Matemba said public health teams from the county government had recommended that the dormitories be fumigated to keep away the mosquitoes.

The school had asked parents to ensure their children had a mosquito net to protect them from mosquito bites at night.


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