Karamoja, Busoga most affected by Trachoma

Karamoja and Busoga sub regions still record the highest number of people suffering from trachoma, a disease that has largely been defeated in other parts of the country. This according to a report by the ministry of health.

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Karamoja and Busoga sub regions still record the highest number of people suffering from trachoma, according to a report by the health ministry.While the blinding disease has been eliminated, it is reportedly persisting  in Busoga and Karamoja.

Dr.Stanley Bubikire, the assistant commissioner in charge of disability says latest data from health management information system reveal traces of the disease in the two sub regions.In 2016, similar data indicated that the prevalence of trachoma in the Karamoja region was as high as 60%. 

Dr. Bubikire says that besides the trachoma, the Busoga sub region is also leading with the cataracts. 

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The ministry of Health had set 2020 to have eliminated the trachoma from the country, however, was forced to extend the deadline for the elimination from 2020 to 2022.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) had set a global goal to eliminate all the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) by 2020. However, several countries have failed to achieve the target due to the recurrence of the disease.

According to Dr.Bubikire, the government is trying to come up with intervention to control the burden and among them is opening up a big eye department in the Karamoja region to help in dealing with the disease.

Uganda has 144,000 blind people and over 2, 2520,000 people are estimated to have moderate and severe impairment. This is according to the so far latest Random Assessment of Avoidable Blindness surveys of 2012 /2014.

Speaking prior to the World Sight day, Dr. Charles Olaro, the director health services –curative ministry of health says that the eye diseases arr among o the top ten causes of morbidity and outpatient attendance.

He emphasizes that 57 % of blind cases in the country are caused by cataracts. 

Dr Olaro indicates that so far there is no medicine that terminates cataracts apart from surgery. 

Dr.Olaro says symptoms of cataracts include trouble with bright lights, difficulties with night vision, unclear vision among others. He explains that this can be mainly caused by eye injuries and diabetes.

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Meanwhile Dr.Olaro warns about the use of computers and phones with un adjusted lights, saying that this contributes to the advanced sight challenges.

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Dr.Dennis Elima, the secretary general Ophthalmologists Society says they are still facing a challenge of nurses to help them in the theatre which he attributes to the absence of a formal training course in ophthalmic nursing.

Among the issues that the government is considering for 2021 -2025 as its strategic plan to improve eye health is the increasing of human resource for eye health .Uganda will on Thursday October 14, 2021 join the rest of the world to commemorate the world sight day with celebration in Moroto district.