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Patients shun treatment as measles spreads in Bunyoro

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A doctor picks blood from a child suspected to have been infected with measles in Hoima recently. PHOTO BY FRANCIS MUGERWA. 

By Francis Mugerwa

Posted  Thursday, March 6  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Most affected. Kakindo, Kyakabadiima and Bwamiramira sub-counties and Kagadi Town Council are some of the areas that have been most hit.

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Kibaale/ Hoima.

As measles continue to ravage the Bunyoro sub-region, medical officials are puzzled why affected communities in Kibaale District have failed to turn up for treatment.
Several cases of measles have been registered in Kibaale and Hoima districts but few people have turned up for treatment.

The Kibaale District Medical surveillance focal person, Mr Sanyu Sulaiman, said an immunisation exercise had been instituted for children aged between six months and five years in the affected villages, however few had turned up for the exercise.

Yet to turn up
“We are accelerating immunisation and encouraging mothers and caretakers to come to health centres for the exercise but many of the affected are yet to turn up for the vaccination exercise,” Mr Sanyu said.
He said affected families should not expect medics to find them at their homes because a number of centres have been designated for the exercise.

According to Mr Sanyu, those mostly affected include emigrants who recently settled in Kasenyi.
“An assessment has revealed that most of the affected have never been immunised. We are, however puzzled as to why they are reluctant to come for treatment even when we have enough medicine,” he said.
The assessment also reveals that Kakindo, Kyakabadiima, Bwamiramira sub-counties and Kagadi Town Council are the most affected.

Measles hit the district about two months ago, affecting young children in much of the sub-counties that make up the Bunyoro sub-region.
Whereas some locals initially suspected witch craft, medical examinations confirmed that it was measles after conducting several tests.

The Kibaale District health officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, said he was optimistic the epidemic would soon be under control. The measles cases in Hoima which were 44 by mid-February have since increased to 57.
Four patients were by press time admitted at an isolation ward at Kyangwali Health Centre III in Hoima District. The epicentre of the epidemic is in Kyangwali and Kabwooya sub-counties.

About measles
Measles is a contagious illness spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person. Those who have had an active measles infection or have been vaccinated have immunity against the disease.

fmugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com