Epidemic Hazard – Africa – Uganda

EDIS Number: EH-20120404-34764-UGA
Date / time: 04/04/2012 03:18:29 [UTC]
Event: Epidemic Hazard
Area: Africa
Country: Uganda
State/County: Northern Uganda
Location: [Nebbi District]
Number of Deads: 30 person(s)
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A


Two weeks ago, two children died of Cholera in Panyimur Sub-county, Nebbi District. Today, the death toll has risen to 10, while 255 are fighting for their lives. At Dei Health Centre III, treatment centres have been erected but the shortage of medical personnel and equipment has made the situation dire. Due to inadequate room at the facility, pale-looking children and their attendants have been huddled under trees, where bottles of intravenous fluids, fixed on tree branches, are being administered. The fear of more people contracting the disease looms, as attendants work without protective gear, such as gloves. The health centre is overwhelmed as patients from the area and neigbouring DR Congo, flock the facility for medical attention. The bigger problem, however, lies in the poor sanitation and hygiene. In most homes, residents do not boil drinking water and yet majority cannot afford water purifiers either. Ms Hellen Acida, a resident of Akworo Sub-county, where the disease has spread, said water sources are unsafe because they share it with animals. “We have to first chase the animals away from the water sources and fetch and, I do not have time to boil water,” she said. Dr Godfred Bwire, an official from Control Diarrhea Disease Department, said the cholera spread from DR Congo to Nebbi. He said poor waste disposal and lack of pit-latrines is the main reason behind the outbreak. “The latrine coverage is very poor. Only five out of every 20 households have pit-latrines. The rest of the population defecates in the lake and others use polythene bags to dispose of waste near water sources,” he said. The district health inspector, Mr Anthony Andrionzi, advised residents against taking contaminated water. “Most rental houses are without pit-latrines and fishermen around Lake Albert do not have proper sanitary facilities. We are soon closing businesses in unhygienic places,” he said.

Syndicated from RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information