By: Francis Mugerwa
Hoima: Medical officials have confirmed the outbreak of a measles epidemic in Hoima District.
The district health office has registered 19 cases and many more residents are at risk of contracting the disease. “The disease has claimed the lives of two people so far but we are making interventions to control further infections,” the district health inspector, Mr Fredrick Byenume, said.
Medical investigations have revealed that the deceased had never been immunised against measles.
The epidemic has been confirmed in Kamwokya, Bukinda, Kasonga, Rwensambya and Wairaga villages in Kyangwali Sub-county and in Mparo Division in Hoima Municipality.
Health officials said the first suspected measles case was registered on January 15. “Most patients are children below the age of five. However, incidentally, we have also registered cases of people who have ever been immunised also contracting the disease,” Mr Byenume observed. He, however, revealed that patients who have ever been immunised against the disease got mild infections and recovered quickly.
The Buhaguzi County MP, Mr Julius Junjura Bigirwa, whose constituency is affected by the epidemic, has called for quick interventions from the Ministry of Health and the district health officials to contain the epidemic before it spreads to other parts of the district.
“Many of my constituents have in recent days been complaining about a mysterious disease killing some people. Now that measles has been confirmed, I call upon government agencies to make adequate and prompt responses,” Mr Junjura said. He urged his constituents to turn up in big numbers for immunisation.
The district has created an isolation ward at Kyangwali Health Centre III where measles patients are receiving treatment.
On Monday, the district held a disaster response committee meeting and authorities agreed to make rapid responses in the affected villages. “We plan to restock measles vaccines as we prepare for mass immunisation campaign,” Mr Byenume said.