10 million at risk of sleeping sickness
ABOUT 10 million people are at the risk of getting sleeping sickness, the agriculture minister has said.
Hope Mwesigye said over 700 Ugandans contract sleeping sickness yearly and that about 40% of the cattle in the country are infected with nagana (trypanosomiasis).
Addressing a joint press conference with officials from the
health ministry at the Media Centre in Kampala yesterday, Mwesigye
noted that the diseases affect both humans and animals and are
transmitted by tsetse flies.
The minister said 160,000 square kilometres was infested with the
flies, putting Uganda among the 37 most tsetse fly-infected
countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Last year alone, 330 cases of sleeping sickness were reported
across the country, but the health ministry said there was
under-reporting of the incidences.
"Approximately 70% of the national herd is at risk of contracting
nagana and the prevalence ranges from 5% to 40%," she added.
Dr. Dawson Mbulamberi, the health ministry's assistant commissioner
of health services in charge of vector-borne diseases, identified
Mukono, Kayunga, Jinja, Kamuli, Bugiri, Kaliro, Busia, Mayuge and
Iganga as the districts affected in the south east.
Others are Pallisa, Soroti, Tororo, Dokolo, Lira, Kaberamaido,
Kalangala and Namutumba.
He noted that the north-western districts include Adjumani, Koboko,
Arua, Moyo, Maracha-Terego, Yumbe and Amuru.
"The Government and development partners have made several attempts
to control the disease and its vector," said Mwesigye.
By Francis Kagolo