Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A cholera outbreak has hit Kasese district in the past week and has so far killed three people in Nyakiyumba subcounty.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that up to 73 suspected cases have been handled so far by local health officials, with 53 of these discharged and 17 still receiving treatment at Bwera Hospital in western Uganda.
In order to avert further spread of the disease, an isolation ward has been set up at Bwera hospital, where all suspected cases are currently receiving treatment, a statement from Uganda’s Ministry of Health said.
Cholera is a serious acute infectious disease characterized by water diarrhea, vomiting and kills a person within hours. It can be spread through eating and drinking foods contaminated with faeces of an infected person.
Other factors responsible for its spread include poor personal hygiene, using contaminated water, poor sanitation as occurs in open defecation, eating food or drinks prepared under unhygienic conditions and poor personal hygiene, especially not washing hands after visiting the toilet.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, acting Director General of Health Servicese, warned that as Uganda continues to experience heavy rains, similar incidents are bound to occur in different parts of the country. “The incidence of infectious and communicable diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid and dysentery may rise to outbreak levels in many districts,” he said.
The rains are expected to cause massive flooding and washing awy of pit-latrines, contamination of water sources, landslides, destruction of feeder roads, extensive eronion and mudslides, destruction of homes and food supplies at varying levels in the affected districts.