Breaking

Onek Calls For Constant Disease Surveillance Along Sudan Border

Disaster Preparedness Minister Eng. Hillary Onek wants government to intensify disease surveillance along Uganda – South Sudan border.
Disaster Preparedness Minister Eng. Hillary Onek wants government to intensify disease surveillance along Uganda – South Sudan border.

 

The Minister’s demand on Sunday during the World Aids Day commemoration came in the wake of a strange disease reported in Palabek Ogili Sub County in Lamwo District last week. The disease is yet to be named by medical workers. It affected 20 people, among them a primary school teacher of Padwat Primary school. Three of the victims were later found to have suffered from acute Malaria while the 17 presented with high fevers and headache.

 

Samples of their body fluids have been taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe for testing.

 

Mathew Ochen Akiya, the Lamwo district chairperson, says South Sudan is known to be home to some of the most dangerous diseases to human life. He says neighbouring the area or doing business across the border puts the people in his district at a greater risk of contracting some of the diseases.

 

Uganda often suffers from Ebola traced to have origins in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. On the South Sudanese side, many strange diseases including nodding syndrome have been reported as well.

 

Akiya asked Minister Onek to push for increased surveillance of the border point. Onek responded saying that those occupying the border must exercise extra vigilance for early reporting so the government can respond swiftly and contain their spreads.

 

Onek explained that the cost of responding to emergencies in Uganda is very high. He implored the public to embrace the “prevention is better than cure” strategy by being extra vigilant, while government should enhance the capacity of the districts to respond to emergencies by increasing numbers of health workers and facilities.

 

Acting Lamwo district Health Officer, Dr. Omoya Denis, cites Hepatitis B as one of the diseases that requires special attention since it spreads through sexual intercourse with an infected person like HIV/AIDS. Already the district has reported a high number of cases of Hepatitis B among its dwellers. Unfortunately, the vaccines are not adequate.

 

Dr. Omoya says the vaccine for the disease is only available for children below five years and those considered more at risks. Up to 14 people in Lamwo missed out on recruitment into the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) two months ago due to Hepatitis B.

Keywords

Entities