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Hepatitis E cases drop

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th October 2008 03:00 AM

CASES of the deadly Hepatitis E virus infection have reduced from 695 reported cases per week three months ago, to 64 in three weeks in Kitgum district.

CASES of the deadly Hepatitis E virus infection have reduced from 695 reported cases per week three months ago, to 64 in three weeks in Kitgum district.

By Madinah Tebajjukira

CASES of the deadly Hepatitis E virus infection have reduced from 695 reported cases per week three months ago, to 64 in three weeks in Kitgum district.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that due to intensive sensitisation through radio programmes and door-to-door mobilisation, the virus had been controlled.

The ministry said the cumulative number of hepatitis infections as per October 12, now stands at 8,701, with 131 deaths.

“Since July, cases have drastically decreased from 695 cases per week to 64 in Kitgum. Other districts have reported one or two sporadic cases per week,” the statement stated.

According to the statement, women and children were at a higher risk of dying than men. The case fertility rate has remained low at 1.5%, the statement added.

Other infected districts include Gulu, Pader, Amuru and Yumbe, mainly in Layamo sub-county, Agoro, Padibe, Lagoro, Paloga, Madi Opei, Kitgum Matidi and Namukora.

The disease, which is spread through consumption of food and fluids contaminated with faeces, broke out in October 2007.

The most affected were people living in camps for the internally displaced (IDP) and those returning to their villages after the 20-year-long Lord’s Resistance Army war.

Minister Dr. Stephen Mallinga said recently that the heavy rains in Kitgum had increased transmission of the disease, because the villagers returning from IDP camps had limited safe drinking water.

He also said the problem was complicated by the fact that there is limited latrine coverage, with people defecating in the bushes, from where the germs find their way into the water sources.

The statement noted that 150 latrine stances have since been constructed, out of the 410 required to address the problem.

It also confirmed that communities were being supported with sanitation kits like spades and hoes to sink latrines through community participation.

“Resources are now available for pit-latrine construction and work has started to dig 137 pit latrines in Agoro sub-county,” read the statement.

It added that latrines were being disinfected once a week with chlorine, in addition to sensitising local brew producers not to use contaminated water.

Hepatitis E cases drop

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