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10 million at risk of sleeping sickness

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th September 2009 03:00 AM

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 (t

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 (t

By Francis Kagolo
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.

10 million at risk of sleeping sickness

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