250 admitted after scabies outbreak in Pallisa
Pallisa District is battling a fresh outbreak of scabies in villages adjacent to shores of Lake Lemwa. The disease, which manifests with severe itching, has left more than 250 people in Nsambya Village, Kasoda Sub-county, admitted.
Other affected villages include Nakibakilo, Nakibuya Bukenye A, Najeneti II, and Nakitende.
Mr Emma Okiro, the health assistant in-charge of Kasodo, on Monday attributed the outbreak to poor hygiene and sanitation.
Mr Okiro, however, said the health team is sensitising the communities about the importance of keeping hygiene to reduce the spread.
“The disease could have come from another area but poor hygiene and sanitation has fuelled its spread in the communities,” he said.
Dr Geoffrey Mulekwa, the district health officer, urged the communities to apply locally-made medicine and avoid sharing clothes.
The Kasodo LC3 chairman, Mr Ronald Kolele, said the government should support communities to fight the disease.
“These cases were first reported in June but they have continued to soar,” Mr Kolele said. In a related development, Mr Adam Mukenye, the tuberculosis (TB)/leprosy focal person in Butebo, has said the district registered six cases of leprosy and 208 cases of TB since January.
He said the most affected sub-counties are Butebo Rural, Kakoro, Kadakolene, Maizimasa, and Petete.
“Majority of residents still relate these diseases to witchcraft but the district has embarked on massive sensitisation to create awareness,” Mr Mukenye said.
His Budaka counterpart, Dr Elisa Mulwani, said the district has recorded 26 leprosy cases since January, with only two people still under admission.
He attributed the upsurge of the diseases to lack of information, saying people have not understood the symptoms.
Ms Damalie Waiswa, the regional TB/leprosy focal person, said case finding is becoming difficult due to limited facilitation.
“The TB cases are on the rise, especially in the rural areas, because in the last quarter , we registered 1,303 cases,” she said.
Ms Waiswa added that there is lack of community support systems, which have resulted in less utilisation of services, including diagnosis treatment.
The Budaka T.B/Leprosy focal person, Mr Dan Tinyo, said the district recorded 88 cases of TB between January and March and from April to June it recorded 81 cases.
The officer-in-charge of Kibuku Health Centre IV, Dr Rahid Simiyu, told Naijium that there is need to intensify community mobilisation to educate people about the dangers associated with leprosy.
“The burden is just failing to create awareness about cases of leprosy and TB which prompts the community members to shun health facilities and opt for witch doctors,” he said.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), children and the elderly in resource –poor communities are the most susceptible to scabies. The highest rates occur in countries with hot, tropical climates, where the infestation is endemic, especially in communities where overcrowding and poverty coexist.
The WHO 2020 report indicates that an estimated 200 million people worldwide suffer from scabies and up to 10 percent of children in resource-poor areas are affected by the disease.