60 students sent home after disease strikes Murang’a school

Sixty students at Ihiga Secondary School in
Learning has been affected at Ihiga Secondary School in Murang’a after 60 girls were infected by an unknown disease that has caused swelling on their limbs.

The condition leads to swelling of students’ legs, hands and faces, and in extreme cases swelling of tongues making it difficult for them to talk.

Parents whose children have been affected flocked to the school on Friday to pick their students.

But public health officers have ruled out the school environment as the cause, saying the water and food are safe for consumption.

Dr Eunice Kimani, a medic at Aga Khan Hospital, said the students could be suffering from Oedema, a swelling that occurs when there is excess fluid collection in body tissues.

She said several medical conditions, certain medications and some lifestyles can cause swelling of tissues.

“Oedema mostly affects hands, arms, feet, legs and ankles. Identifying and treating the underlying condition is important in controlling it.

“More investigation should be done so as to determine the underlying cause to properly eradicate the swelling,” Dr Kimani told Nation.

She said the common causes of the condition include lupus, kidney and liver failure, certain medications, and pregnancy related conditions.

But parents remain dumbfounded by the disease which they say affects their children while in school yet they recover when they go home.

On Friday, priests from Anglican Church of Kenya prayed for the students at the school, blaming the condition on spiritual elements.

“When the priests exorcise the demons, the swelling disappears for about one day but after a while the swelling comes back, we need serious prayers,” one of the school teacher’s told Nation.

Ms Lucy Kamau, a parent, said she received a call from the school asking her to pick her daughter since she could not write or take a shower.

She said her daughter suffered from the same symptoms last term but several tests in various hospitals did not reveal any ailment.

“When all the hospitals showed no signs of illnesses in the tests they conducted, I was shocked. Interestingly, she recovered after two days and could do all her homework,” Ms Kamau said.

She said the condition reappeared after the schools opened this term.  Students who spoke to Nation said they are living in fear of being infected.

“We are very frightened. We live in groups because we don’t know who the next victim is. We urge that serious prayers be conducted to exorcise the demons in the school,” one of the students said.

They said the disease started affecting students last year.

Muranga County Education Director Victoria Mulili said the board of management will be sitting to deliberate on the way forward.

“We have advised the parents to pick their children as I prepare for a board of management meeting to chart the way forward,” she told the Nation on phone.

Via Daily Nation