The number of people who have died in the latest outbreak of cholera in Bugiri District has risen to nine.
The first cases of the epidemic were recorded on Thursday last week. More than 60 people are currently admitted in hospital receiving treatment for cholera.
The latest victim of the epidemic is 30-year-old Joyce Ndekere who died at Bugiri Hospital.
Stephen Kirya, the Bugiri District Director of Health Services, says many of the cholera deaths could be avoided by reporting illness in time. He says that in most cases people are too poor to afford treatment for the sick and cannot pay for transport to hospitals and health centers.
54 blood tests were this morning sent to the Ministry of Health to verify whether they are infected with Staphylococcus Aureus, bacteria that causes a range of diseases in humans.
The spread of cholera in Bugiri is centered on Buluguyi sub-county. To prevent further spread, Muwayo Market and four schools have been closed by the district authorities.
Dominic Obulu, one of the last patients to be admitted to Bugiri Hospital, says he contracted the disease on Sunday at a burial. He admits that he ate food served without washing his hands because there was a shortage of water at the site.
Bugiri district only has 20.6% water coverage. The district water office says the average distance a person moves to access safe water is two kilometers. Only one in ten homes has a pit latrine.