The County Government of Kilifi has ordered the closure of slaughterhouses and banned the supply of red meat following an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever.
The decision, the authorities said, was reached at upon receiving positive tests of the disease.
Rift valley fever, which is known to be spread by mosquitoes and was first detected in Tana River, is feared to be spreading in Malindi and Magarini as most of the meat there is sourced from Tana.
Following a directive to security chiefs, to enforce the order, by the County’s Health executive, Anisa Omar on Thursday, the government slaughterhouse in Malindi and other private slaughterhouses were closed down to avoid the spread of the disease.
Dr. Anisa requested the veterinary, health, security, and environmental management officers to work as a team to contain the disease adding that they are on a high alert and further advising them not to consume red meat until the situation is resolved as it could pose a danger to their lives.
“Majority of the livestock are from Tana River and Northeastern, I urge the deputy County Commissioner and his security team to be on the lookout as there are many animals that enter the county,’’ said the Health Executive.
She said that the security and the department responsible would be on the lookout for livestock as Muslims are expected to celebrate Idd- Fitr later this month.
Dr.Anisa, who divulged that the County Government had initiated plans to engage investors in building an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Malindi sub-county, was speaking during the opening of a dispensary funded by Kay salt Company as one of their social responsibility strategies. Dr. Anisa reached out to the salt firms in the county to work together with the government to construct an ICU at the Malindi Level 4 hospital.
“Malindi is a tourism area, its a sensitive matter, I have already written a letter to the Italian consulate to assure him that everything is under control,’’ she said this while calling on the veterinary department, health, Security and environment to work together to avoid the spread of the disease saying it could have an adverse effect on the tourism sector.