New HPV vaccine to save women from cervical cancer

By Moses Kidandi
In a bid to reduce the number of women who succumb to cervical cancer in the country, the ministry of health has appealed to the Uganda cancer institute to make available vaccination of adults against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the East African region carries the highest burden of cervical cancer globally and Uganda is among the five countries with the highest rates in Africa.

Now the state minister of Health for General Duties Sarah Opendi says much as government introduced free vaccination of girls aged 10 years against HPV in the country, it is being constrained by limited funds to also cater for the vaccination of female adults.

She however says once the Uganda cancer institute makes available this vaccination, it can be easily accessed by women at a fairer price.

Parliament should bring back bleeding disorder bill

By Daudi Zirimala

The Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties Joyce Moriku Kaducu has called upon members of parliament to bring back the bill on bleeding disorders for debate to enable the ministry to plan thoroughly on bleeding disorders.

Speaking during the World Hemophilia day in Kampala, Dr Kaducu said that the bill was differed for further consultation when it was brought in parliament but it’s high time for parliament to debate again passes this bill to cater for hemophilia conditions.

She said that hemophilia foundation of Uganda is working hand in hand with the ministry of health to create a dedicated heamohopilia center in Mulago and regional referral hospitals and equip the centers with factors and reagents for testing heamophilia.

Heamophilia is an inherited genetic disorder that impairs the bodys ability to control blood clotting when blood vessel is broken and people with heamopholia do not bleed any faster than normal,they bleed for a much longer time.Over 2583 people are estimated to have heamophilia in Uganda and only 3.2% of the 2583 are diagnosed,96.8% remain misdiagnosed.

Hospitals registering many cases of anemia among pregnant mothers

By Moses Kidandi
The Government is registering a high increase in a number of anemia cases mainly in children and expectant mothers.

This has been attributed to poor feeding habits and several unknown reasons which are now being investigated by the Ministry of Health.

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng who has expressed concern over the growing concerns was speaking at the launch of the Nutrition Society of Uganda at Makerere University school of food science.

The minister has how ever said Government has developed new strategies to address the challenges. She is now encouraging parents to start feeding them selves and their children with foods rich in iron.

Anemia in pregnant women has been attributed to their laxity in taking the recommended care and iron tablets as they under go antenatal care from health centers.

The senior economist in the office of the Prime Minister Galiwango Samuel while presenting a paper on key government strategies at the launch noted that the cases registered are worrying and recommended that mothers feed their children on fiber foods like Sweet potatoes, vegetables and beans from the routine served meals of posho, rice and other jack foods.

US spent 506.1 M dollars on improving health in Uganda

By Gloria Nakimba
A total of 8.76 million Ugandans were tested for HIV/AIDS in 2017, according to new report to the Ugandan People released by the US Embassy in Kampala on Thursday.
US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac says her government spent  506.1 million US dollars, about 1.8 trillion Uganda shillings in assistance to promote a healthy Uganda while the overall  assistance to the  Ugandan people  in the financial year 2017 totaled  to 971 Million US dollars  approximately  3.6 trilling shillings.
According to the report nearly 60% of Ugandans living with HIV achieved viral load suppression which has been shown to reduce onward transmission by 96%.
Ambassador Malac however noted that there are still challenges regarding resources for health workers asking government to invest more in the health sector to address this challenge.
This she says is a challenge not just in Uganda but in a number of countries where the resources are constrained, and health workers including nurses, midwives and physician are not paid enough to retain them to keep them as part of the system.
Center for Disease Control country director   Dr. Lisa Nelson noted that Uganda has registered great progress in HIV response getting towards the epidemic control as well as controlling malaria.
She explained that much of the support was towards the health sector to help the country deal with disease outbreaks “Uganda is in the Congo basin with a lot of emerging disease threats, and I think one of the things the US government and all agencies are involved in is also supporting Uganda to have the system to detect disease outbreaks and be prepared to respond so that they don’t spread and contain economic impact of those threats” Dr. Lisa Nelson told the media at the launch of the report at the American embassy in Nsambya. She hailed Uganda’s capability to diagnose infections as and when they break out.
“Some of your institutions such as Uganda virus research institute really are world class and are able to detect these disease and able to detect them in a timely fashion” she said.
Uganda is among 13 countries that were selected as one of the comprehensive countries to focus on epidemic control. Amy Cunningham Coordinator PEPFAR program told the media in Kampala that the country is two years away from epidemic control.
PEPFAR supported 993,070 of the 1,051,138 Ugandans receiving treatment for HIV last year. According to the report, more than 26 million Ugandans were kept safe from Malaria last year, thanks to the insecticide treated mosquito nets that were distributed under the US President’s Malaria initiative.
More than one million insecticide treated nets were distributed to families and 200,000 nets were handed out to pregnant women.
Malaria remains the leading cause of illness in the country resulting in 27 to 34 percent of outpatient hospital visits and 19 to 30 percent of hospital admissions country wide .On the issue of stability, the US government contributed 371.3 million dollars that is 1.3 trillion shillings to promote a stable Uganda.
According to Ambassador Malac  some this money went towards supporting the country’s response to an influx of refugees.
 1.3 million Refugees in Uganda received assistance through support from the Bureau of population refugees and migration at the US department of state
She hailed Uganda’s response towards refugees fleeing fighting back home especially those from South Sudan
“We continue to be very impressed with the government of Uganda and the Ugandan people’s willingness to accept refugees, it’s really a very extraordinary position” Ambassador Malac noted.

Anthony Thompson named new World bank country manager

By Gloria Nakiyimba
The World Bank has announced Antony Thompson as the new Country Manager for Uganda Mr. Thompson replaced Ms. Christina Malmberg Calvo whose contract expired on 31 July, and he will be overseeing 26 projects in Uganda  totaling to 3 billion US dollars.
“Under his leadership, the World Bank will continue supporting inclusive growth and poverty reduction through a wide array of financial products and technical assistance” read part of the statement issued by the World Bank.
Some the World bank programs in Uganda are targeting to raise rural incomes by increasing agricultural productivity and commercialization and reducing vulnerability to shocks.
This is achieved through investing in better service delivery, particularly in health and education; improving the business environment and access to infrastructure services.
Mr. Thompson served as  the country manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, since August 2014.
He joined the World Bank Group in 1992 as part of the Young Professional Program, working on human development for the Middle East and North Africa region’s country operations department.
He has worked in several different capacities, including operations officer, lead financial sector specialist, operations advisor, and sector manager. Throughout his career in the World Bank, he has worked extensively in financial sector, private sector development, and tax administration.
Thompson’s areas of expertise include health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and financial sector reforms.

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.

~URN

 

Government to opt for mosquito repellent paint as a solution against malaria

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.

Mulago super specialized maternal and neo-natal ward to open soon

By Gloria Nakiyimba
Construction of the state of the art Super Specialized Maternal and Neo-natal facility at Mulago National Referral hospital is complete.
In an exclusive interview, Enock Kusasira Mulago hospital publicist told Capital radio that civil works at the magnificent facility in Kampala are done.
“We are now installing equipment and installing an integrated hospital management system.  Every other thing has been done. We are only finalizing with the retaining wall just behind the hospital” said Kusasira.
The new facility will for the first time offer In-vitro Fertilization-IVF services to patients with fertility problems.
“All our staff especially those who will be working in that hospital are receiving refresher training, others went for specialized training in areas of IVF “he revealed.
Kusasira says once opened the 450 bed hospital will become the first public facility to offer IVF services in Uganda.
The state of the art Women specialized hospital will be opened in July this year.
Construction of the hospital has cost 33.3 million US Dollars which government borrowed from the    Islamic Development Bank-IDB.    The hospital was constructed by the Arab contractors company from Egypt.
No Oxygen shortage
Kusasira noted that the two oxygen plants at the hospital are producing enough oxygen to   cater for patients especially babies.
There were reports of shortage of oxygen which was linked to death of many babies at Kawempe hospital.  But  Mr.   Kusasira noted that the reports were false.
“Mulago hospital has enough oxygen and we distribute it to all our campuses; Kawempe and Kiruddu on regular basis.”
The hospital has two oxygen plants. The old one  was installed in November 2012 and a new one that was installed early this year
“Both of them are working at full capacity and there is no hitch in as far as the supply of oxygen is concerned” he insisted.
Kusasira also dismissed claims that the hospital is grappling with a shortage of blood.
“ I have no knowledge of blood  shortages, we suffered a lot when students were on holiday,  but for the last two months there has  not been any report of shortage of blood “  he said.
He added that all the theatres at Mulago hospital are working, and all the patients that need transfusion are being transfused and there is no cause for alarm.

Uganda’s community of the deaf “We have been ignored by government.”

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.