By Daudi Zirimala
The World Health Organization (WHO), has pledged its support to ministry of health to encounter the outbreak of Cholera in country most especially in the refugee host communities.
According to WHO Country Representative Dr. Tomas Tegen, they are committed to counter epidemics and emergencies in Uganda by providing necessary support in terms of human resource, funds among others to reduce impact of emergencies including loss of lives.
Dr. Tegen says capacity building is required because influx of refugees in Uganda will consistently impact of lives of Uganda if epidemics are not catered for.
The district is battling an outbreak of the acute diarrheal disease, amidst a humanitarian crisis that has led to an influx of more than 25,000 refugees fleeing civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The disease outbreak that started out in Sebigoro Landing site in Kabwoya and Kyangwali sub-counties has so far claimed 44 lives, and affected more than 2000 people, according to records by the Ministry of Health. Cholera is caused by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated by faeces.
Dr Immaculate Ampiire, the senior Medical officer Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization-UNEPI told Uganda Radio Network that following the outbreak, arrangements have been made to for the mass cholera vaccination exercise which will be carried out in two phases.
She says the first phase of the vaccination exercise will be launched on May 2 to May 6 at Buseruka sub-county Headquarters in Hoima district and the second phase will run from June 6, up to June 10.
She says the campaign is targeting persons above one year in the five Sub-counties of Kigorobya, Kabwoya, Kyangwali, Buseruka and Kigorobya town council, classified as hotspots in Hoima district.
Ampiire who was addressing the Hoima District Cholera Task Force team at the office of the Resident District Commissioner [RDC] Hoima, appealed to all stakeholders to mobilize members of the public to embrace the exercise.
Hoima Resident district commissioner [RDC] John Stephen Ekoom says the district is ready to receive the team from the health ministry to kick-start the vaccination campaign. He has however warned some religious cults in the district against preventing their followers from being vaccinated.
Ekoom says whoever will be found diverting people against the exercise will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly for sabotaging government programmes.
By Deo Wasswa
The ministry of health needs not less than 2.5 billion Uganda shillings per district to roll out the exercise of indoor residual spray of insecticides to curb spread of Malaria among communities.
According to the minister state for general duties, Sarah Opendi, currently the exercise is in 14 districts out of the 121 districts in Uganda.
She however, urged the technical team at the ministry of health to identify some people within the private sector who can be able to provide the indoor residual spraying to those who can afford to pay. Opendi adds that the ministry is discussing with a Japanese paint Company to avail a mosquito repellent paint.
Uganda is among many of countries that joined the rest of the world to commemorate the malaria international day.
By Edwin Muhumuza
Uganda’s community of the deaf have raised concern following the lack of access to health information including HIV/AIDS. This after a survey revealed that HIV prevalence among them stood at 1.9% and is rising. They have also lashed at the ministry of health demanding for health awareness information in sign language across all health centers and communication media.
The Persons with hearing impairments accuse the ministry of neglecting them in regard to awareness on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.Their remarks following a survey that indicates that only 58.3% have ever known about the viral infections and majority die without ever knowing they were infected.
According to the Ministry Of Health, Commissioner in charge of Disease Control, Dr. Patrick Tusiime , he agrees that government has concentrated on treatment and focused less on prevention of HIV. There are over 1million deaf people in Uganda and 1% are living with HIV. The Crane survey 2017 was conducted among groups at increased risk for HIV in Kampala.
By Wasswa Deo
Healthcare organizations that are supporting people living with HIV/AIDS which includes People in Need Agency Uganda (PINA-U) and Aids Healthcare foundation, have urged the Ministry of Health to come out and clarify the government’s plans to initiate third line treatment for patients who have failed second line treatment.
Moses Nsubuga, the executive director People in need agency Uganda (PINA-U) says, the exclusive sources shows that the ministry has already setup a technical working committee to work on initiating the third line intervention, but if it’s true, the ministry should engage them in fighting the cause.
The two years study code named, Managing Using Latest Technologies to Save People Who Have Failed Second Line at Joint clinical research center, has over 270 Ugandans that have failed second line treatment
The organizations also want the government to come up with more innovative ways of ensuring people living with HIV/AIDS adhere to in taking their drugs. They say many of people living with HIV especially children have become drug resistant because they have poor adherence in taking their drugs.
Patients, who don’t make it to Moroto Regional Referral Hospital by midday, return home without treatment because the Outpatient department operates half day, URN reports.
Our reporter spent two days at the Hospital and observed that majority of the medics start work past 9:00am and leave by 2:00pm depending on the number of patients available.
Patients start lining up for treatment as soon as the OPD is opened at 7:00am. Patients who come past midday are bounced or ignored by staff.
Maria Ngorok trekked over 50 kilometers from Lotome in Napak district to Moroto Regional Referral Hospital with her husband and arrived at the hospital at 3:00pm on Tuesday.
However, they found the OPD closed leaving them with nowhere to turn for treatment. Ngorok noted that the journey to the hospital took them long since her husband was very ill, but they were disappointed to find the facility closed.
Phillip Longole, a patient from Iriiri Sub County in Napak district, approximately 100 kilometers away from Moroto, arrived at the Hospital just a few minutes past 4:00pm.
Longole, who traveled to the hospital by bus on Tuesday, lay helpless as there was no body to attend to him. He told URN with difficulty how he was desperate for the treatment.
By 6:00pm on Tuesday when URN left the hospital more than five patients including casualties lay unattended to at the casualty unit, the only unit left open in the OPD.
Other patients sought to join the wards that appear to have staff working throughout but those with limited knowledge on how the hospital works end up going back home or resort to clinics if they can afford.
Dr. Alfred Francis Ogwang, the Director Moroto Regional Referral Hospital acknowledges the challenge but attributes it to low staffing. He said the few staff at the OPD work for only one shift while emergency cases are rushed to the wards.
But Christine Alupo, a patient found in one of the clinics says the medics employed by the hospital spend most of their time in their businesses especially running private clinics.
Moroto Regional Referral Hospital serves the seven districts of Karamoja and neighboring communities from Teso and Kenya among others.