Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans forced from their homes by political violence lack proper health care and face a growing risk of disease and sexual violence, the World Health Organisation warned Friday.
Some 250,000 people, mainly from Kenya's Rift Valley region, are now housed in makeshift camps or staying with host communities, and three quarters of these people are women and children, the WHO said in a statement.
AdvertisementInitial assessment of these camps shows them to be "very crowded, with poor shelter, water supply, sanitation, food shortages, no cooking fuel," it said.
"The most prevalent health concerns in all sites are diarrhoea in children, and acute respiratory infections," it said.
There is also a serious shortage of antibiotics, children's medicine, malaria medicines and life-saving drugs for chronic illnesses, with nearby hospitals also facing similar shortages, the WHO added.
It also noted an upsurge in cases of sexual violence, with hardly anything in the way of medical or psychological support for survivors.
The WHO has a team of 12 public health specialists in Kenya, although some workers cannot get access to affected sites because of ongoing insecurity.
Some 1,000 people have died and up to 300,000 have been displaced in fighting sparked by the disputed December re-election of President Mwai Kibaki, which opposition leader Raila Odinga claims to have won.
The crisis has severely shaken the formerly stable east African nation that is a refuge for many displaced by neighbouring conflicts.