At least three people have died and fourteen others are hospitalised following a suspected cholera outbreak in Kigorobya sub county Hoima district.
The outbreak is reported in Kibiro and Kapaapi parishes along the Lake Albert shoreline.
Hoima district health inspector, Fredrick Byenum, identifies the deceased as 48 year old Moses Olingi of Kapaapi village, 4-year old Phoebe Nambasi from Ruunga landing site and yet unidentified girl child, a resident of Kyabisagazi village.
Byenume says the fourteen patients are now on treatment at the Ruunga cholera treatment centre. He explains that though the department is yet to take samples for a laboratory test in Kampala, all the clinical signs point to cholera.
The patients present with signs of running stomachs, high fever, general body weakness and dehydration which Byenume associates with cholera.
The health office has however stepped up measures to counter the outbreak. According to Byenume, the measures include re-equipping the treatment centre at Ruunga, stocking enough Intravenous fluids and displaying cholera warning messages in the affected areas.
The health team has been joined by the Uganda Red Cross Society personnel from Hoima branch.
Byenume attributes the outbreak to the free interaction with neighbours in Arua and Nebbi where cholera has been reported. This comes barely a year after another outbreak in April 2012 at Ruunga landing site that left 12 people dead. At least 600 others were treated in different health units. The Lake Albert shoreline is always prone to cholera due to the poor sanitary standards in the area.
Local leaders want government to design a deliberate program to improve sanitation in the area. James Mugenyi Mulindambura, the Kigorobya district councilor demands that government comes in to fund the construction of public toilets at every landing site.
He says much as there is routine sensitization on latrine usage in the area, the sandy soil does not support pit latrines.