Uganda: Cholera kills 10, hundreds infected

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KAMPALA, 16 June (IRIN) - Cholera outbreaks in Uganda have killed at least 10 people, while hundreds of others have been treated for the disease, health officials said on Thursday.

The outbreaks were recorded in a congested Kampala slum; in Jonam County in Nebbi District, 300 km northwest of the city; and in a camp for internally displaced people in Gulu District, 380 km north of Kampala.

In the slum, north of the city centre, four deaths and four cases of infections have been recorded. The slum is home to an estimated 30,000 people.

"We have since banned the selling of food and vending of water in the area and we have discouraged the population from using the well nearby as more tests are undertaken," Francis Lubowa, the Kampala City Council's health secretary, said.

The first case was reported in the slum on 29 May, he added.

He said the outbreak was due to poor sanitation and drainage in the slum, and that the zone where the cases were recorded had only four functioning toilets.

Health officials have began a treatment programme for the infected and are carrying out awareness campaigns to inform people on how the disease is spread.

In Jonam County, 117 cases, including three dead, have been recorded.

"There are no good water sources in the area and people resort to using tributaries of River Nile, some of which are stagnant, leading to the problem," Paul Ajal, the medical officer in charge of Janam, said on.

He said health officials were making people aware of cholera risks through radio and announcements in public.

Officials said the outbreak in Pabbo camp in Gulu was now under control.

Camp leader Wilson Ojok said 309 cases of the disease, including three deaths, had been recorded since April, with the last death recorded on 31 May.


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