A dysentery outbreak is reported to have hit Ishasha and Kihiihi in Kanungu district.
The Ishasha IC1 chairperson Enock Nzabarirwe says 12 people in his area have been diagnosed with the disease. He says the number of sick may be higher, but this is hard to confirm because many people are afraid to report to the authorities.
Only one person is admitted at Kihihi Health Center.
Florence Rwabahima, the district medical officer, says the outbreak is linked to the contamination of major water sources in the district. She says it is also suspected that the disease could have come across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2008 a major dysentery outbreak was reported at Congolese refugee camps in Kanungu and Kisoro districts. The disease was contained before it spread to populations outside the camps.
Diarrheal diseases like cholera and dysentery remain among the five major causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.
According to the Epidemiological Surveillance Division in the Ministry of Health, dysentery is one of the diseases with the potential to reach epidemic stages in Uganda. In the past three years, high incidences of dysentery have been reported in Uganda, particularly around the onset of the first rainy season.
Ben Rullonga, the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner, says there is a strong link between poverty, hygiene and disease in the district. H says the sale of cooked food has been banned and a mass clean up exercise is underway to deter the recurrence of the disease.