Health Ministry Confirms Outbreak of Red Eyes in Gulu

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In short
A statement released by the Ministry of Health indicates that according to surveillance and laboratory reports, 798 suspected cases have so far been reported within Gulu Main Prison, Pece Prison, Gulu Remand Juvenile Home and Gulu Main Police Station.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of Conjunctivitis (Red Eyes) in Gulu district. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the (conjunctiva), the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye.

A statement released by the Ministry of Health indicates that according to surveillance and laboratory reports, 798 suspected cases have so far been reported within Gulu Main Prison, Pece Prison, Gulu Remand (Juvenile) Home and Gulu Main Police Station.

Cases of conjunctivitis have were reported within Lugore Health Center II, Labworomor Health Center III, Patiko Health Center III, Lukodi Health Center II, Punena Health Center II, Coope Health Center II, and Bardege Health Center III within the month of December 2016.


"50 samples have been picked for a whole range of bacterial and viral laboratory testing both within and outside Uganda, while surveillance efforts by the district and Ministry of Health teams continue," part of the statement reads.

Some of the symptoms of conjunctivitis are; redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid, increased amount of tears, thick yellow discharge that crusts over the eyelashes especially after sleep, Itchy eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Conjunctivitis is mainly caused by bacteria or viruses and can spread easily from person to person, but is not a serious health risk if diagnosed and treated promptly. Among new-born babies however, conjunctivitis should be reported to a doctor immediately, as it could be a vision-threatening infection.

The Ministry of Health is already undertaking a number of measures to control the spread of the disease. These include promoting hygiene and WASH activities within all detention facilities in Gulu district, active case search for red eye in the prisons, health facilities and the community.

 A Rapid Response Team to support the district response structures has also been established among other activities.

The Ministry of Health is also appealing to members of the public to maintain high sanitation standards, and avoid direct contact with people infected with the disease.

 

Tagged with: red eyes conjuctivitis

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).