Cholera Outbreak: Uganda Put On High Alert

order geneva;”>The Director General of Health Services Dr. W Lwamafa Wednesday issued the tough warning, which will surely send ripples down the spine of millions of Ugandans as the country prepares for an imminent serious rainy season.

“A cumulative total of 280 cases has been recorded in the districts of Kasese, Mbale, Sironko and Bududa and Buliisa,” says Lwamafa.

Cholera has in the past killed hundreds in Uganda especially in rural areas. The Ministry is expected to step up publicity campaigns to eradicate the spread of the disease.

Cholera is a serious acute infectious disease characterised by watery diarrhea, vomiting and kills a person within hours.

It can be spread through eating and drinking foods contaminated with faeces of an infected person.

Other factors responsible for its spread include; draining latrines into drainage channels, defecating in open places, eating food or drinks prepared under unhygienic conditions and poor personal hygiene.

Some districts have also reported an increase in the cases of other water related diseases of Typhoid and Dysentery which are also transmitted in similar ways.

Lwamafa says the Ministry of Health is undertaking a number of measures to control the spread of cholera and the other water-related diseases ahead of the rainy seasons.

“Surveillance and Epidemiological programmes continue in the affected and neighbouring districts to detect cases for early treatment. The National Medical Stores (NMS) has disbursed the necessary drugs to the affected districts in case more cases are reported,” clarifies Lwamafa.

The Ministry of Health urges the public to control the spread of the diseases by boiling all drinking water; cooking food thoroughly and eating it while still hot; washing hands with soap before eating food; disposing all fecal material in latrines and avoiding foods and drinks sold on streets and along the roads.

“The public is further urged to be vigilant and report all suspected Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery cases and other strange deaths to the nearest health facility. District Health Officers are urged to intensify public education programmes to prevent disease outbreaks,” urges Lwamafa .

“With its mandate to have a healthy and wealthy population, the Ministry reaffirms its commitment to undertaking all necessary interventions to control disease outbreaks in the country.”

The ministry is at the same time combating the nodding disease spread in northern region of the country.


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