Government makes strides to control Malaria, Cholera outbreaks amid heavy rains

Posted: 2021-04-21T12:34:59Z
Government makes strides to control Malaria, Cholera outbreaks amid heavy rains

Local leaders in the districts of Nebbi, Zombo, Pakwach, Bullisa, Hoima, Busia, Namayingo, Kasese, Ntoroko, Madi-Okollo, Obongi and Kikuube have been tasked to prepare for the campaign against malaria and cholera outbreaks and mobilise their communities to turn up in high numbers to receive the second dose of oral cholera vaccines. 

Oral cholera vaccination campaigns have been taking place in cholera hotspot district (4 million doses for 2 million vulnerable persons). Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu the state Minister for Primary Healthcare says this is one important activity that is in the Ministry of health national cholera strategic plan 2017-2022. There are 12 cholera hotspot districts in Uganda. And the Minister told reporters in Kampala today, that to prevent cholera in these districts, WASH interventions are supplemented with oral cholera vaccination campaigns. Oral cholera vaccination campaigns targeting vulnerable populations in Nebbi, Zombo, Pakwach, Bullisa, Hoima and Kikuube were completed in 2018-2019 where each eligible person received two doses each.

“In November 2020, the other six districts of Busia, Namayingo, Kasese, Ntoroko, Madi-Okollo and Obongi received the first dose which gave the communities partial protection. To complete the doses and ensure full protection, the Ministry of Health has imported additional one million oral cholera vaccines to target the same persons that received the first dose. This activity is scheduled to start in May 2021 in these districts” Minister Kaducu said.

She noted that with the ongoing heavy rains in various parts of the country that are associated with floods, contamination of water sources and increased growth of vegetation around homes, it is breeding grounds for cholera and malaria. 

“The negative effects of heavy rainfall are likely to cause health hazards to hundreds of households. The incidence of infectious and noncommunicable diseases such as Malaria, Cholera, Asthma, Typhoid, Bilharzia, Dysentery and acute respiratory infections will raise to outbreak levels. This scenario will eventually lead to increased demand for health services” Minister Kaducu added.

She noted that currently there are no ongoing outbreaks of cholera, malaria or typhoid. However, given the heavy rains and flood in some communities the risk of these outbreaks occurring is extremely high.

“Therefore, in order to prevent these outbreaks and strengthen preparedness, the Ministry of Health is working and urging the local governments, central government sectors and other key stakeholders and development Partners to step up the implementation of preventive measures like; Intensified health education on cholera prevention focusing on hygiene improvement, with emphasis on hand washing with water and soap, keeping clean homes, covering food, and eating food that is hot.

The second set of health educational message package should promote clean home environment that is free from bushes, encouraging family to sleep under mosquito nets, Promotion of use of safe water and construction of safe latrines for each household, Investigate all the outbreaks to identify the risk factors and institute appropriate corrective measures, Integrate cholera and malaria preventive activities into ongoing COVID-19 district response activities and district task forces to ensure better coordination and monitoring of the instituted preventive measures, The district health officers should order and ensure that health facilities have adequate medical supplies to meet increased disease trends and Identify / earmark health facilities to screen and manage suspected cholera cases.    

The General public has been urged to; Boil all drinking water or add Chlorine "water guard or aquatab", Open the water…