The ministry’s permanent secretary, Daina Atwine, on Monday said many people were infecting others because of reckless and irresponsible health behaviour.
PIC: The parmanent secretary ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwiine, addressing journalists during a breakfast meeting at Wandegeya Loudel towers. March 29, 2018 (Credit: Ashraf Kasirye)
KAMPALA - The Ministry of Health wants a tough law on public health to enforce responsible health behaviour among the public.
The ministry's permanent secretary, Daina Atwine, on Monday said many people were infecting others because of reckless and irresponsible health behaviour.
"We need a tough law on public health. This law should be backed by bylaws at the local government level to ensure that people behave responsibly," she noted.
Atwine made the remarks while addressing journalists at the ministry's breakfast meeting at Lourdel Towers in Kampala.
She wondered why a family with a home and land can fail to have a latrine.
"Why would a person defecate anywhere and infect others. This was criminal in the past; that is why we used to have few cases of cholera," Atwine added.
She noted that the ministry was also emphasising behaviour change communication to ensure that the public takes charge of their health.
Atwine said the ministry was focusing on strategic intervention to tackle the different preventable diseases as the only way to reduce the burden, to increase productivity of the people.
"You cannot separate health and wealth. We can save billions if we prevent these diseases. This money can be used to invest in high tech, create jobs and increase salaries of public servants. But the disease burden is still high," she added.
The ministry's Ag. director general also doubling as the director clinical services, Dr Charles Olaro, revealed that the ministry was in its final stages of introducing a cholera vaccine.
He also revealed that they were already handling the cholera outbreak in in Kyangwali.
"We realised it was in Congo where the refuges came from. But we have managed the situation with the fatality rate now at 2%. It was high, but today in every 100, only two die of cholera," he added.
Olaro attributed the problem to the poor sanitation in the area.
The head of environment health division, Julian Kyomuhangi, said those who refuse to wash their hands after cleaning themselves with toilet paper and other things "are still feeding on their feaces".
She said 75% of the diseases in Uganda are preventable because they are environment-related.
"We are trying to push for improved sanitation and hygiene practices in 40 districts. We want to ensure that all homes have improved latrines. Today we have 80% shared improved latrines in various villages. These are shared by more than one family," Kyomuhangi noted.
She said they want to eliminate open defecation for people to adopt improved hygiene behaviours.