Govt Cautions on Household Hygiene Amid Cholera Outbreak in 5 Districts

A girl washes her hands at a tippy tap. (Photo: Aggrey Nshekanabo)

The Ministry of Health intensified health education for hygiene improvement with emphasis on hand washing with water and soap as well as keeping clean homes as part of the interventions to contain the active outbreak of Cholera in five districts.

Since June 2019, Cholera has been reported in the 5 districts of Kyegegwa, Bududa, Kisoro, Isingiro and Busia. So far, a total of 241 cases and 2 deaths have been recorded over the last three months.

The deaths occurred in Budduda and Isingiro.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Acting Director General of Health Services said in a statement on Friday that this week, 12 cases were investigated and Cholera was confirmed among patients who reported at Nabulola Health Centre III and Dubani Mission Hospital in Busia district.

Government says that with the exception of Bududa and Busia, the Cholera outbreaks in the other districts are linked to refugee settlements – Kyaka in Kyegegwa, Nakivale in Isingiro and Oruchinga in Kisoro

In order to contain these outbreaks, the Ministry of Health working with the respective local governments and development partners is carrying out measures to avert further spread of the outbreak.

These include intensified health education for hygiene improvement with emphasis on hand washing with water and soap, keeping clean homes, covering food, eating food that is hot.

The Ministry is also encouraging use of safe water and construction of latrines in affected communities and those at high risk.

Cholera treatment centres have been established in the affected districts for management of cases.

“The Ministry has also strengthened coordination to monitor progress on outbreak control measures through both national and district task force meetings,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement, adding that it has provided additional medicines to replenish the stock already used in affected districts.

For the districts such as Bududa which face landslides, targeted oral cholera vaccination was carried out in 23 parishes where cases of Cholera had been reported.

The public has been urged to boil all drinking water and to add chlorine.

The Ministry is also advising households to open the water drainage channels around homes and to drain stagnant water.  

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery drainage which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae

Symptoms of Cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection.

About 1 in 20 people infected present with severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to spread of the infection.


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