Tuesday June 10 2014

Cholera continues to spread in Namayingo


Namayingo- The Ministry of Health is missing in action in Namayingo District more than two weeks after a cholera outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of at least three people and seen another close to 100 admitted in different health facilities.

The district health inspector, Mr Musenze Mutumba, told this newspaper at the weekend that the district had recorded 61 new cases last week alone, bringing the number of cases in hospital to 94, up from 33 recorded in the previous week.

Matters have been complicated by lack of capacity in terms of drugs, medical personnel and resources to handle the magnitude of the problem.

The district has one medical doctor who is stationed at the 60 bed Buyinja Health Centre IV, and 113 other medical workers stationed in its 23 health facilities.

The vice chairperson of the district, Ms Anastansia Koni Ndira, who is also the woman councillor representing Sigulu Islands in the district council, said the matter was addressed to the Ministry of Health when the first cases were reported, but that they had not received any response.

The only intervention, she said, was that of the NGO, Star EC, which is involved in the fight against HIV/Aids which delivered Jik and other disinfectants when the epidemic first broke out.

The two known mobile phone numbers of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Ms Rukia Nakamatte, were off throughout the weekend. The commissioner in charge of communicable diseases, Dr Alex Opio, under whose docket the intervention would have fallen declined to comment.

“I cannot comment about that. We have a channel of communication that must be followed. You wait. Her (Ms Nakamatte’s) phones will get on at some point,” he said.