Kala-Azar in Kenya with Particular Reference to Baringo District

McKinnon, John Alexander (1958) Kala-Azar in Kenya with Particular Reference to Baringo District. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Kala-azar seems to be spreading in British East Africa and although five years ago it appeared to be confined to Kenya, has been reported now in Uganda and Tanganyika in small numbers. It is also tending to increase in the Sudan, In Kenya, sporadic cases were reported until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. During the war years several outbreaks involving fairly large numbers occurred among East African troops in the northern areas of Kenya, These areas were in the north-east corner of Turkana on the delta of the Omo River, and on the Uaso Nyiro River in the Northern Frontier District, In 1942 two new foci were revealed in the Machakos and Kitui districts of Ukambani, The numbers increased in the Kitui focus and in 1952 there was a sharp outbreak of the disease in this area with over 3,000 cases in the years 1952-54 inclusive. This paper describes a further endemic focus of the disease in Baringo District which lies in the Rift Valley on the southern edge of the deserts of the Northern Province, The first cases were discovered in 1954 and 71 cases are now described, being diagnosed over a period of thirty months. The origin of the disease in Baringo appears to be the movement of infected members of the Turkana tribe from the known focus in the north-east corner of Turkana District into Baringo to sell their stock and to buy cereal grains. The distribution of the disease in Baringo follows the routes taken by the Turkana. The epidemiology of the disease is described and discussed and information given on the general disease pattern in the area. The clinical description of the disease as it occurred in Baringo district is given and from this it appears to resemble the Sudanese form of the disease. It was noted that there tended to be a leucocytosis rather than the leucopenia which is described as being characteristic of this disease. Possible reasons for this are the short duration of the illness in many patients and the high incidence of pre-existing respiratory infections. For various reasons described a standard course of treatment using pentamidine isethionate and pentostam was given. This treatment appears to be sufficiently safe and effective for use by medical staff in the absence of supervision by qualified medical officers. The results of treatment indicate that the cure rate was high.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Epidemiology, Public health, Sub Saharan Africa studies
Date of Award: 1958
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1958-79260
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 11:12
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 11:12
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/79260

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