The County Government of Nakuru has set aside Sh2 million to treat and combat Cutaneous Leishmaniasis-causing vectors in Gilgil sub-County.
Leishmaniasis, a public health issue, is a neglected disease caused by Leishmania species, transmitted by female sandflies.
The World Health Organization links the expansion of farming and other human activities into forests with disease outbreaks.
Cases of the sandfly attacks have been reported in Utut Forest, Kampi Turkana, Ol-jorai and Gitare area, all within Gilgil sub-County, generally mountainous and rocky escarpments.
Public Health Chief Officer Mr Samuel King’ori said the money will go towards the purchase of drugs, insecticides, environmental and public awareness drives.
The Health Department is offering free Cutaneous Leishmaniasis treatment in addition to household fumigations.
The treatment is offered at Gilgil sub-County Hospital, Eburru, Mbaruk, Karunga, Langa-Langa and Anti-Stock Theft Unit dispensaries as wells as Ol-Jorai and Rhine Valley health centres.
Also, a satellite clinic has been set up at Joy Celebrations Church at Gitare to attend to locals and from neighboring Nyandarua County.
While launching the fumigation and sensitization drive at Gitare in Moredant Ward, Mr King’ori asked those affected to adhere to the treatment regimen for effectiveness.
According to medics, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is deeply stigmatizing due to the long-term scars which are located mainly on the face.
However, according to Mr. King’ori, the effects can be minimized with early interventions and correct treatment regimens.
He said another targeted vector control programs will be carried out in June to reduce and interrupt transmission of disease by decreasing the number of sandflies to below 1 percent.
The county ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has also promised to distribute free pyrethrum planting materials to plant near houses as the plant repels the vector, the sandflies.