Residents, leaders and health experts in Ankole region and the country at large are worried following the outbreak of the deadly Rift Valley Fever.
The outbreak of this hemorrhagic fever has already been reported in the districts of Isingiro, Kiruhura, Sembabule, Mbarara, Ibanda and Kasese.
In Isingiro district alone, two people have already died due to this disease. Reports indicate that over 5 people have already died in different areas while up to seven people are currently undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the region.
Rift Valley fever is in the hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg and Ebola- a reason why its outbreak has put the region and the country on tension.
This acute viral disease primarily affects domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and camels but also infects humans.
It is spread by either touching infected animal blood, consuming meat and milk products from an infected animal, or the bite of infected mosquitoes.
The Mbarara district health officer Peter Ssebutinde is now cautioning Ugandans against eating meat and consuming products of dead animals to avert the spread of Rift Valley fever.
Commenting on this outbreak, the Isingiro District Resident District Commissioner Herbert Muhangi called for more vigilance among the population if the fight against this disease is to be successful.
Alison Ayetoranire Byamukama- the former Special Presidential Assistant for Buhweju Affairs wants the Ministry of Health and partners like World Health Organisation to help the region with more experts to boost the fight against this outbreak. “We need more experts to come and support the health teams in the region. Also we need to fund the hospitals in the region to establish isolation centres for the Rift Valley Fever patients and funds to enable these facilities extend the best treatment,” she observes.