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Bilharzia strikes 4 million

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th October 2006 03:00 AM

ABOUT four million people are infected with bilharzia in Uganda, the state minister for primary healthcare said on Monday.

ABOUT four million people are infected with bilharzia in Uganda, the state minister for primary healthcare said on Monday.

By Fred Ouma
ABOUT four million people are infected with bilharzia in Uganda, the state minister for primary healthcare said on Monday.
Dr. Emmanuel Otaala told over 50 local and international scientists that the disease was still a “debilitating one” with an estimated 16.7 million Ugandans at increased risk of infection.
“Schistosomiasis (bilharzia) remains one of the major neglected tropical diseases of considerable public health and socio-economic importance in the developing world, including Uganda. If not adequately addressed, we shall neither achieve the Millennium Development Goals nor the Poverty Eradication Action Plan,” Otaala said.
Otaala was represented by the director general of health services, Dr. Sam Zaramba, as chief guest at the kick-off workshop on bilharzia research study at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe.
The research study is titled ‘A Multidisciplinary Alliance to Optimise schistosomiasis Control and Transmission Surveillance in Sub-Saharan Africa’.
The three-year research programme is funded by the European Union and brings together 14 institutions, four from Europe and 10 from Africa.
Prof. Thamas Kristensen of the DBL-Institute for Health Research and Development heads the programme. The research also involves Makerere University’s Institute of environment and Natural Resources and the Vector Control Division in the Ministry of Health.
Narcis Kabatareine, the programme manager Bilharzia Control, said communities neighbouring large water bodies such as lakes and rivers were more susceptible to diseases carried by snails.
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Bilharzia strikes 4 million

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