Officials shun Arua meeting over meningitis

Local authorities said 20 people had been infected by the disease while health officials in Kampala said the number was at 36.

Friday February 14 2014

By CLEMENT ALUMA

ARUA- Officials from the Ministry of Health on Wednesday failed to turn up for a preparatory meeting
for the launch of the elimination of mother-to-child HIV/Aids transmission in Arua District, citing
fear for meningitis which broke out in the region last month.

Local authorities said 20 people had been infected by the disease while health officials in Kampala
said the number was at 36.

The First Lady and Minister for Karamoja, Ms Janet Museveni, is expected to preside over the function
on March 29.

Dr Linus Amandu, the coordinator of Baylor College of Medicine, an organisation spearheading the
event, told leaders and traders in West Nile he was informed that the officials could not come.
“I was informed that they could not come for this meeting because they have not yet been vaccinated
against meningitis,” he said.

But the statement drew wild reactions from other officials who criticised the Health ministry for only
thinking about themselves at the expense of locals.

“I do not think those words came from ministry of Health officials because they are responsible people
who cannot make such irresponsible statements,” Dr Jimmy Opigo, the Moyo health officer, said.
The officials appealed to the ministry to treat with urgency the vaccination exercise of all
residents.

Efforts to reach Ministry officials for a comment proved futile as their phones could not go through.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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