A fresh cholera outbreak in Hoima district has claimed the lives of four people and left 20 others hospitalised. The latest outbreak has been reported in Hanga village in Kyangwali Sub-County. Fred Kugonza, the Hoima District Disease Surveillance Officer, says the deceased cholera victims are members of the same family.
They succumbed to the disease on Sunday evening as they were being rushed to Kyangwali Health Center. However, the district health officials have declined to reveal the particulars of the deceased and their family.
According to Kugonza, the four presented with diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dehydration and general body weakness. Kugonza explains that 20 more residents contracted the disease but have been treated and discharged from Kyangwali Health Centre, where a Cholera treatment center has been established.
He says no new cases have been report, adding that the health team is on ground to do community senstisation on hygiene and sanitation and case identification. In a phone interview on Thursday, Kugonza explained that the epidemic is suspected to have originated from the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He reveals that one of the affected families received a visitor from Kyomya village in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, prior to the outbreak.
Hanga is one of the villages in Hoima district that was affected by a similar outbreak in September last year. The outbreak was contained two months later. Cholera was also reported in the neighboring sub counties of Kabwoya, Buseruka and Kigorobya.13 people died and 300 were hospitalized.
Cholera outbreak is common at the Lake Albert shore areas in Hoima and Kibaale districts, especially during rainy seasons. Health officials blame the problem on poor latrine coverage, as the soils there are fragile and unsuitable for pit-latrines.
Information obtained from Hoima district health office indicates that Hanga village has 80 households and only 8 pit latrines. The communities do open defecation and drink dirty water.
Last year, Luke Lokuda, the Hoima Chief Administrative Officer revealed plans to establish a water purifying plant along the Lake Albert shores, to help avail communities with safe drinking water. However, our reporter couldn’t reach Lokuda to get an update on the water purifying project.