Cholera Patients Shun Treatment Centre As Disease Spreads

Uganda Red Cross Society says cholera patients in Hoima district are shunning the established treatment centre as the epidemic spreads to another sub county.

On April 12, a cholera outbreak was reported in the areas of Runga, Kapaapi and Waki in Kigorobya Sub County. Three people have so far died and a cumulative total of 68 cases have been reported.

Health officials on Thursday evening disclosed that the disease has now spread to Kyangwali Sub County several Kilometers from Kigorobya. Fredrick Byenume, the Hoima district health inspector, says two more cases have been reported at Kyangwali health centre. At the time Byenume was yet to ascertain particulars of the patients and their places of residence.

This now brings the total number of cases in the district to 70. Byenume blames the disease spread on community interactions along the Lake Albert shores. Kyangwali and Kigorobya sub counties lie in the Lake Albert shoreline.

Meanwhile Red Cross officials attribute the disease spread on patients’ failure to seek treatment. Fred Othieno, the Red Cross regional program manager, says many patients hide away from the Runga Cholera treatment centre.

Othieno says Red Cross volunteers have had to forcefully drag some patients to the treatment centre as they find them hidden in their houses. He says this is hampering the epidemic control efforts.

Uganda Red Cross is one of the organisations in the campaign to control the disease. The humanitarian organization has deployed ten volunteers at Runga landing site.

Othieno explains that the volunteers are doing house to house active case search, distributing aqua safe water purification tablets and sensitizing locals on hygiene and sanitation.

The cholera outbreak in the Lake Albert shoreline was an issue during the Hoima district council meeting on Tuesday as councillors demanded that the area be prioritized in terms of health facilities.
Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Gender and Health Minister Catherine Byenkya says the kingdom is also concerned over the lives of subjects in the area.

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