An outbreak of cholera in Koboko district has left two people dead and more than 30 others infected in the last two weeks.
The two deaths bring to seven the number of people who have died of cholera in Koboko and Arua districts since February this year and number of those infected is now more than 50.
Because of this the two districts have taken measures to have the disease contained. Some of the measures taken include banning of admission of patients in clinics in Koboko district, sale of cooked food on the streets of Arya town and organising of villages discos.
According to Dr Alfred Driwale, Koboko district health officer, no private clinic in Koboko has been licensed to admit patients but they continue to do so, a thing he says can lead to further spread of the disease. He says if found, such clinics will face closure and the owners prosecuted.
But one of the proprietors of private clinics in Koboko town, Ratib Andama, says the whole cholera issue has been politicized. He says though they have not received any communication from the concerned authorities about the suspension of admissions by private clinics it is not good for them.
Some of the patients interviewed, however, said they are better attended to in private clinics than in government health centres where there are no drugs and beds. One of the patients, Mokili Mawa, described Koboko Health Centre Four as a death trap for people.
One Letaci Alice, another patient, says she was forced to leave Koboko health centre to seek medical services in one of the private clinics because she was in critical condition yet there was no bed for her.
Meanwhile in Arua where the first case of cholera was reported, the health authorities have banned selling of cooked food on the streets and organising village discos where there are no sanitary facilities to combat the disease.
Dr. Paul Onzubo, the Arua municipal health officer, says this is aimed at containing further spread of the highly contagious disease.
The abrupt ban on food and village discos has attracted a lot of complaints from the dealers. Sam Obitre, a disco hall operator at Bileafe trading centre has vowed to continue with his business.
Salama Abdu, a tea seller in Arua Tax Park who is equally disappointed, says though there is cholera they always ensure that they operate in a clean environment because they also don’t want their customers to die. She appeals to the municipal council to relax the ban for people like her.