Cholera Escalates in Nebbi as Health Units Run Short of Drugs

2383 Views Nebbi, Uganda

In short
At least 13 people have been confirmed dead following an outbreak of the highly contagious Cholera in Nebbi district.
The first cases were identified three weeks ago. Most affected by the latest outbreak are people residing in Panyimur and Dei sub counties mostly fishing communities.

As the number of cholera deaths rise to 13 and infections shoot to as high as 700, the authorities says several health centers have run out of essential drugs.

At least 13 people have been confirmed dead following an outbreak of the highly contagious Cholera in Nebbi district.
The first cases were identified three weeks ago. Most affected by the latest outbreak are people residing in Panyimur and Dei sub counties mostly fishing communities.

Saraphin Alia Nebbi Chief Administrative Officer, who chairs the district cholera Task Force, said on Tuesday that cholera cases have reached above the national average of 500 cases.

Drugs supplies run out

The scale of cholera outbreak in Nebbi has prompted an unprecedented need for essential drugs.
Unfortunately, many health centers are running out of these drugs.

The chief administrative officer says the health centers have now run out of medicine and Medicines San Frontiers one of the NGO’s supporting treatments of those admitted in the various health centers has also run out of supplies.

The situation has been made worse by the shortage of staff to handle the cholera cases. The district has been forced to mobilize health workers from various health units to rally behind the efforts to control the further spread of cholera in the district.

The Nebbi district health officer, Anthony Andrionzi, is currently seeking funding from the ministry of health in Kampala. He however warns that more lives could be lost to cholera; if government fails to address the problem of drugs.

PoorSanitation spells difference between life and death

While the struggle to get drugs continues; health authorities in Nebbi district are using this opportunity to make a difference between life and death. They are urging the communities to treat the drinking water and to improve their hygiene.

Most of the fishermen in the affected communities are known for disposing off their urine and fecal matter in the lake. Yet at the same time, water is drawn direct from the lake and taken without boiling.

The district cholera task force has asked people living near the lake to vacate and move at least 100 meters away from the shores of the lake.

Dilapidated houses that have up till lately been used as pit latrines are being pulled down and health workers have been deployed on a rotational to provide a consistent management of the cholera cases. 

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