The camp also provided HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, Tuberculosis (TB) screening and treatment, and COVID-19 tests and vaccination, among others. ( Photo by Adam Gule)
Adam Gule
Journalist @New Vision

YUMBE | HEALTH | TREATMENT 

 Yumbe district residents have been urged to carry out regular health check-ups to detect and treat different diseases at their early stages.

The plea was made by Avako Melisa Naima Gule, the woman member of parliament for the Yumbe district, during the launch of a one-day free malaria camp organized by USAID through Social Behavioral Change Activity in partnership with the Yumbe district local government and the Ministry of health at Yumbe primary school playgrounds.

Avako said everyone needs to be healthy to work and eradicate poverty.

"Government has brought in many interventions to eradicate poverty, like the parish development model, but we all need healthy people," she said.

Jimmy Apangu the parish priest Yumbe catholic church getting service

Jimmy Apangu the parish priest Yumbe catholic church getting service

She added that the government has established health facilities in almost every sub-county and there is no need for people to die of diseases unknowingly.

"Health centers are at least nearer to us now. We need to take advantage of this to know our status so that we don't die of common diseases," said Avako.

The camp also provided HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, Tuberculosis (TB) screening and treatment, and COVID-19 tests and vaccination, among others.

Michael Wamala, head of behavioral change activity for USAID, said the camp aims at taking services nearer to people who might be facing different challenges in visiting health centers for regular check-ups.

" Malaria and other diseases are still a burden in many families, but people tend to die unknowingly. We want to create an opportunity for them to test and get treated" he said.

Wamala added that they refer cases that are severe to health facilities for further medical services.

"Here we test and treat cases that we can manage, but for those that are severe, we refer them to the health facilities to get better help," said Wamala.

A Nurse taking sample of a client to test for malaria during the camp

A Nurse taking sample of a client to test for malaria during the camp

He said they have plans to make the camp a routine at least once every month, offering different services to the people.

Twahir Anule Ajaga, a senior health officer who doubles as the malaria focal point person in the Yumbe district, said, many people in the district wait until sickness puts them bedridden before they go to health facilities.

He added that many people in the district still believe in witch doctors, which makes them delay reaching health facilities for help on time.

" Our people have a belief that they have to be completely sick of sickness fast before they go to the health center, and others prefer witch doctors for help than health personnel," he said.

Why focus on malaria

Wamala said the health report in the district indicates that malaria is still the leading disease burden in the district with a 67% positivity rate.

In the last financial year, a total of 386,224 positive cases were registered in the district, with 59 deaths.

He said, through the camp, they want to create awareness of malaria spread, preventive measures, and treatment to reduce the burden.

Twahir Anule Ajaga, the malaria focal point person in Yumbe, blamed the surging cases on misuse of treated mosquito nets and poor health-seeking behavior.

What do beneficiaries say about the camp?

Hashim Taban, a driver in Yumbe town council, said, he is always busy and can't get time to reach health centers for a health check-ups.

Hashim lauds the partners for the initiative of bringing services nearer to them.

Jackeline Ewudopia, another resident of Yumbe town council, said, they fear going to health facilities because most of the time the queue is very long.

She urged that, if possible, the health camp should be at least every other month to improve the health services in the district.

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