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HEALTH

Cholera Outbreak Hits Uganda

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 Ministry of Health has confirmed seven cholera cases and one person dead in Kampala as a result of the contagious disease. The ministry is also investigating 16 new suspected cholera cases.

While touring Cholera prone areas including Kabowa and Rubaga Division where there is an outbreak, Dr Moriku Joyce Kaducu, the State minister for Primary Healthcare, attributed the outbreak to poor sanitation and hygiene in the area.

“During our tour, we came across only two pit-latrines in the entire area and they were locked.

You ask yourself where these people go when nature calls. We were told they use the bucket strategy,” she said.

“What I observed in Kabowa is pathetic. Whether it is a rainy season or not, you can get any disease because it is really unhygienic,” Dr Kaducu added.

The residents of Kabowa have been given two weeks to clean up their environment.

Ms Benny Namugwanya, the State Minister for Kampala, revealed that 300 public toilet facilities are to be constructed in Kampala, particularly in the low income areas this financial year to address toilet coverage issues. Currently, the city has only 16 public toilets.

“We have already secured a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates worth $4m for the construction.

The Nalukolongo channel is also to be worked upon because the money is available. We have to deal with compensation first,” Ms Namugwanya said.

Selling of cold edibles has been banned in the affected areas until further notice.

“KCCA technical staff and Ministry of Health are carrying out an assessment of the whole city and very soon we shall communicate more measures of selling of those foods,” Ms Namugwanya said.

The Health ministry called upon the citizens to observe proper sanitation and maintain personal healthcare.

She said the ministry will declare every first Saturday of a month as a compulsory national clean-up day to improve on the country’s hygiene.

“It is time to act where we have days to clean Uganda.

Today, we demonstrated so. Whether one is a leader or not, you have to participate.

Today, we started emptying the toilets and cleaning up drainage systems,” Dr Kaducu added.

Cholera is an infection caused by the bacteria and affects the intestines.

The main symptoms are watery diarrhoea and vomiting. This may result in dehydration.

It is usually contracted through drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with faecal matter.

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