Lack of funds is frustrating the cholera fight in Hoima district as the incidences of the disease shoot up to 68. Hoima district early this month registered a cholera outbreak in the areas of Ruunga, Kapaapi, Kababwa and Waki on the Lake Albert shoreline in Kigorobya Sub County.
Fredrick Byenume, the Hoima district Health Inspector, says 12 new cases were registered over the weekend bringing the cumulative total to 68.The cases stood at 56 on Friday.
The cases include the three deaths registered in the early days of the disease outbreak. Byenume says although the department is working hard to combat the epidemic, funding constraints are frustrating their efforts.
He explains that coordination is hard as the district has no money for fuel. Instead of the chlorine disinfectant for foot bath, Byenume says they have opted for JIK which is not ideal. He says also the district has failed to station a health worker at the treatment camp in Ruunga because they cannot sustain him there.
Meanwhile a budget has been drawn and forwarded to the ministry and copies given to other development partners for support. Byenume explains that the ministry has responded by sending rehydration fluids and other facilities. World Vision and Red Cross have intervened too. He notes however that funding gaps still remain a challenge.
23 million shillings has been budgeted for the cholera campaign. According to Byenume, the money will be spent on community sensitization, coordination, erecting temporary structures and water treatment tablets among other activities.
But local leaders insist the interventions are only short term, stressing need for affirmative action to improve the sanitary situation in the area.
James Mugenyi Mulindambura, the Kigorobya district councillor, wants government to provide more funds to facilitate the construction of public toilets at each landing site. He argues that the community cannot put up pit latrines because of the collapsible soils in the area.
The outbreak comes barely a year after another one in April last year which claimed 12 lives and left more than 600 others hospitalized.