WHO pledges to help Ministry of health fight cholera

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.

Government plans for mass cholera vaccination finalized

The ministry of health has finalized plans for the mass vaccination against Cholera in Hoima district.

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.



Fresh cholera outbreak

By Robert Ssegawa

Fresh cholera outbreak has been confirmed in Hoima district with 100 people affected so far.

The Hoima district disease surveillance officer Fred Kugonza said beginning of this month they have received accumulating cases, they have already informed ministry of health.

The campaign is now underway to mobilize residents to construct toilets and renovate those that are necessarily in a sorry state as well as promotes hand wash campaign to prevent further spread of disease.

Kugonza said the most affected sub countries are those along shores of L. Albert that include Kabwoya, Buseruka , and Kwangwari.

PHOTO: www.newvision.co.ug


By Robert Ssegawa

The cholera death toll in Budaka district has risen to six after two more people succumbed to the disease yesterday.

The district healthy officer Sam Ojega identifies one of the latest victims as Florence Kityayi and her new born baby.

Ojega says the body of deceased was buried at Nabweyo village under tight supervision by the healthy workers and relatives were not allowed to come close to the caskets.

Budaka district was hit by cholera epidemic on June 2nd and so far dozens of suspected cases are admitted at Nansanga healthy center.

PHOTO: nbs.ug

Cholera outbreak in Busia claims a life and leaves six other hospitalised

Cholera claimed the life of one person in Busia district on Saturday and left six other hospitalised. The victims are members of the same family from Mundaya village in Masaba sub-county.  Dr. Patrick Barasa, the In Charge of the Cholera Isolation center at Busia main hospital, says the deceased contracted cholera in Namayingo district where he was working.

He said the six patients admitted at the isolation center had just returned from his burial.  He suspects the cholera victims could have touched the body of the deceased. Dr. Barasa is worried that the situation may escalate given the heavy rains that have continued pounding the area.

He complained of poor sanitation and hygiene especially within, Busia municipality. Busia district is prune to cholera outbreaks. In November last year, cholera broke out in seven sub counties in the district and was only contained in January this year.  The epidemic claimed six people and left more than 270 other hospitalised at Busia main hospital.

Kennedy Adhola Otiti, the Busia Resident District Commissioner, blames the cholera outbreaks on negligence by residents and lack of proper hygiene practices.  Otitit has ordered for a crackdown on households without proper sanitation facilities.




Chorela outbreak claims four lives and leaves 300 admitted in Bulambuli

Four people have died and more than 300 people have been admitted at Bulambuli Health center IV following a fresh outbreak of Cholera in the district.

Dr Muhammed Mulongo, the Bulambuli District Health Officer says that they have received more than 500 new cases of cholera over the last two and half weeks. Of these four people have died, 180 have been discharged while 334 were by Tuesday evening still admitted.

He explained that the fresh outbreak was first registered on March 7, with three cases from Bwihonge Sub County. By last evening, a total of 123 cases had been recorded from the same Sub County.

Dr Mulongo said so far the epidemic has spread to the seven Sub Counties in the lower belt of the district. They include Muyembe, Bulambuli town council, Bulegeni, Buhakalo, Nabongo and Bunabutye Sub Counties.

This is the second time within this year that Bulambuli district is hit with Cholera.  In January, 12 cases were registered but the situation was contained. There was however no death registered.

Dr Mulongo attributes the fresh outbreak to shortage of clean water in the district. He said currently residents are using water from the only two major sources of river Solonko and Cheptui which he said they are sharing with animals.

He said the long dry spell has had an adverse effects to water sources most of which have dried.

He said with the help of UNICEF, Ministry of health they are distributing water purification tablets to the affected community. He said a team of health educators have been dispatched to the affected areas to sensitize the public on good hygiene and sanitation.

Meanwhile, the district is also hit with acute diarrhea. Records at the hospital indicate that in March alone more than 700 cases of acute diarrhea were registered especially among children.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating and drinking contaminated food stuffs.

Sam Okech, a clinician says Cholera presents with rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps among others.

Okech explained that if not treated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours.


Kifumbira residents fear bad sewerage disposal may cause cholera

Residents of Kifumbira zone in Kampala have expressed fear of a cholera outbreak in the area following increased cases of sewerage disposal in drainage channels.

The residents accuse KCCA of refusing to act on their fellow residents who have set disposal pipes from their latrines to the drainage channels which has put their children at risk of catching diseases. The affected areas are Kamwokya Kifumbira zone; however the sewerage follows through the residential areas via Kalerwe to the Lubigi wetland.  The residents have appealed to KCCA to act as they accuse each other of throwing garbage in the channel and continuously disposing off sewerage in the drainage.

There have been three confirmed deaths and several others hospitalised after a cholera outbreak in the Eastern district of Sironko. The officials in the district say the disease has been widely spread due to poor hygiene and lack of pit latrines in majority of the homesteads.