HEALTH NEWS SUMMARIES FROM THE DAILIES

17 Apr, 2012

Uganda to Make new Aids Drugs New vision Wednesday 08 February 2012 By Taddeo Bwambale and Vivian Agaba.

Quality chemicals a Ugandan pharmaceutical company will next month start producing a new ARV drug (Tenofovir), a monthly dose of this will cost $ 20 as compared to $ 600 for the same drug in Europe. While most advanced countries have switched to Tenofovir, many poor countries have not because it is expensive yet it is a first line treatment for HIV. According to the medical stores general manager Moses Kamabare, the purchase of anti-malarial and ARVs locally has significantly reduced on cases of stock outs and the cost of buying the ARVs from the plant has slightly reduced from $ 2.4 per dose when production began to $ 1.9.

 

Government offers condolences over nodding disease Daily Monitor, Wednesday February 8, 2012 By Sheila Naturinda

The deputy, leader of government business, Gen. Moses Ali acknowledge that the situation of the nodding disease is mysterious, but said he had asked the Minister of health, Dr. Christine Ondoa to explain and answer all demands made by the political leaders of the Acholi sub region districts where children are affected. The Acholi MPs therefore tabled a bill in parliament demanding that Acholi region be declared a disaster area having; a comprehensive report, creating mobile clinics, a full budget be channeled to the area and intensified research to discover the name and cause of the disease.

Plague outbreak suspected as two die in Arua Daily Monitor, Wednesday February 8 2012 By Felix Warom Okello and Clement Aluma

A fresh outbreak of plague is suspected in Arua after two people died of similar symptoms in Vurra County and the district health officials have put the community on alert, although the DHO of Arua said he is still consulting the details of the disease. The plague outbreaks were from the neighboring DR Congo over the years.

Women circumcised by force, Daily Monitor, Monday, February 13th 2012 by Joseph Aliti

Women who refuse to undergo female genital mutilation in pokot and Tepit communities in Karimoja sub-region are forcibly cut by traditional birth attendants during delivering. This is criminal and I strongly warn who ever has been doing it to stop because they risk ending in prison, State minister for gender Rukiya Nakadama reveals. This practice infringes on women’s rights and causes physical harm thus a threat to their reproductive health. With funds from UNICEF, UNFPA and France government a zero tolerance program was launched in the region last year.

80 nursing students stranded as education minister closes school, Daily Monitor, Monday, February 13th 2012

At least 80 students of Nwoya teaching hospital medical school are stranded after the institute closed following directive from minister of education for allegedly operating illegally. The institute opened last year and its director Dr. Claive Onen collected shs 700,000-800,000 and the students complained that they have not been taught and having a deteriorating standards of living at the school. This was there after followed by the doctor’s arrest.

Uganda facing condom shortage, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Brian Ssenoga Kimuli.

Uganda needs about 3 billion condoms a year to cater for about 10 million people who are in the active age bracket, health official notes. The country has been importing about 120 million condoms annually in the last five years, but this figure is way beyond the current demand. Dr.Mina Ssali, the Public Relations Officer Uganda Cares says National Condom day comes on February 14th Valentine’s Day which is an ideal day to encourage condom use when love and lust are high.

 

Israel to support health services in Uganda, New vision, Monday, February 13th 2012 by vision reporter

The new Israel ambassador to Uganda has disclosed that his ministry will support Uganda’s health ministry in establishing vibrant ambulance service in the country. Ambassador Gil Heskel said this during his visit to Uganda emphasizing that Israel is willing to strengthen co-operation with Uganda in many areas, health being one of them.

 

Maternal Child care project launched, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Paul Bishanga

A five year maternal and childcare health project has been launched in Kabale district. Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo, a senior health official said 200-bed hospital will be constructed and six ambulances will be purchased to enable the transportation of mothers from the rural areas. Dr. Francis Mwesigye Runumi therefore cautions health workers against laxity in their work.

 

More ARV centre’s needed, Daily Monitor, Tuesday February 14, 2012, by Joseph Mugisha

The limited number of health centre’s that offer ARV services in the Rwenzori region is hindering  the efforts to cater for people living with HIV Aids. The 41 facilities in the region are not enough and the facilities are poor due to poor facilities and poor staff remunerations the Kyegegwa District Chairman Norman Birungi says.

 

Embrace new health system, New vision, Monday, February 13th 2012 by Rukia Nakamatte.

The ministry of health working closely with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) and IntraHealth, have developed the human resources for health a tool that can avail you with reliable information on health workers which will provide accurate data and sufficient system for the flow of information. More than 60% of the health workers are in urban areas serving less than 20% of the population yet 80% of these live in rural areas. The new system will therefore provide data on available health workers, their distribution and their productivity. This system will also provide reliable and complete evidence for health work force planning, recruitment, deployment and payroll management.

 

Health Ministry to demolish 100 theatres, Daily Monitor, Wednesday, February 15th 2012 by Agatha Ayebazibwe

More than 100 theatres at the lower health units built at Shs 100 million each will face demolition while others are to be rehabilitated. These facilities were built to boost healthcare at health centre IVs and their demolition could mean a loss of at least shs10b spent on construction, minus the cost of demolition. The theaters are in Kihihi, Kabale, Sironko, Mubende, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Lira Masaka and Hoima, although these structures remained unused because they did not meet basic standards both in design and structure.

 

Mulago cancer Institute gets shs 27m,  New vision, Wednesday, February 15th 2012 by Violet Natabanzi and Vivian Agaba

The Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago Hospita receives over 27M shs for prostate cancer research. The director of Uganda Cancer Institute Jackson Orem said no research had been done on prostate cancer in Uganda since 1965 and many men with such cases report late for diagnosis which makes it that out of the 100 diagnosed with cancer, 80 die after a year.

 

Mulago rehabilitation plan released, New vision, Thursday, February 16th February 2012 by John Odyek and Joyce Namutebi

Parliament has approved a $73M (shs168b) from African Development bank and $15M (shs 35b) from the Nigeria Trust Fund to improve health services at Mulago referral hospital and two city hospitals. Dr. Richard Ndahuura minister for health said this project would be implemented over 54-month period and it is designed to redirect the high demand for basic healthcare that currently congests at Mulago. This will also support establishment of two new secondary health facilities at Makindye and Kawempe.

 

US govt boosts health drive for UPDF, New vision, Thursday, February 16th   2012 by Raymond Baguma

The US embassy in Kampala has donated three mobile surgical unit, three vans, four trucks with tents and surgical gear worth sh1.8b to be used in safe Medical circumcision by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. Observing that SMC does not provide 100% protection against HIV/AIDS, the US ambassador Jerry Lanier urged surgical teams to always tell their clients of other ways to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. These teams will also help the UPDF meet its bold goal of circumcising 60,000 men over the next three years.   

 

14-year-old Arua mum fighting for life, New vision, Thursday, February 16th 2012 by Richard Drasimaku

A 14-year old mother who underwent a caesarean section at Nebbi Hospital last month is stranded at Arua Hospital in critical condition. According to a medical report, part of the girl’s abdomen was left with a gaping wound and Arua Hospital doctors said some of her internal organs were cut during the caesarean section.

 

Kasese district records 30 new cholera cases , New vision, Thursday, February 2012 by Benard Masereka.

A cholera outbreak in Bukonzo west constituency in Kasese district has hit another low point since it was first reported in October. Last Thursday, 30 cases were reported to the Cholera treatment centres and a meeting by the district leaders resolved that the sale of all food stuffs be banned immediately and heads of households without latrines be arrested and public latrines be dug to curb this. It was also observed that inadequate water supply in the affected area had made it hard for the residents to maintain a good sanitation in the area.

 

Kalungu gets Shs 4b Aids hospital, Daily Monitor, Thursday, February 16 2012 by Brian Ssenoga Kimuli

A state-of-the art hospital for specialized treatment of people living with HIV/Aids in Lukaya Town, Kalunga district to eradicate HIV/Aids scourge in Uganda got a boost yesterday after Uganda Cares NGO announced its construction. The facility is expected to offer free treatment to about 30,000 HIV/Aids patients a year. A survey done last year by ministry of health in the district found the prevalence rate here to be very high at 12%, while testing and counseling services are relatively low and only 38% of the people know their status. This is therefore a move to increase access to HIV/Aids services.

 

Nodding disease cause unknown-expert New vision Friday February 17, 2012 by Anne Mugisha

A US-based health expert has arrived in Uganda to help find more clues on the cause of the nodding disease epidemic in Northern Uganda. Dr. Scott Dowell told journalists that numerous tests done at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta in US have not revealed much about the disease. However, two strong leads being followed have connection to river blindness (Onchocerciasis), low serum concentration and low Vitamin B6 was detected too. Serum is the blood component which does not contain the white blood cells or the clotting factor. The affected people 95% of whom are children 5-15 years will be treated with epileptic drugs.

 

Project to reduce maternal, child mortality starts in Kibaale, New vision, Friday, February 17 2012 Ismael Kasooha

The infectious disease has launched a one year project code named “Saving Mothers Giving Life” at reducing the death of mothers and new-born babies in Kibaale district with support from the US. Edward Kyagulany the project coordinator said the project will ensure that all expectant mothers get obstetric care while giving birth in all health facilities in Kibaale. This intervention followed data indicating 450 mothers out of every 100,000 die annually due to complications in delivering. The mothers will be supported with incentives like transport to and fro the health centre’s, nutrition foods, baby kits and treated mosquito nets.

 

CSM Vaccinations in upper East region GBC News 24th Friday February 2012

Following reports of an outbreak of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis, CSM, in the Upper East Region which claimed 16 lives, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Awoonor Williams says vaccination exercises are ongoing by health workers to help eradicate the disease. Speaking on GBC's Current Affairs Programme 'Behind the News', Dr. Williams said people with the disease should report early to health centres for treatment.  He said most people with the disease resort to other places for a cure instead of health centers. Read more at: http://www.gbcghana.com/index.php?id=1.795674

Poorly processed peanut butter causes cancer, New Vision, Thursday February23rd2012 by Prossy Nandudu

Consumption of poorly processed peanut butter can cause Cancer of the Liver, according to a research done by Makerere University in partnership with the University of Georgia. Dr. A. Achilleo Kaaya, the lead researcher from the faculty of Food Science and Technology, said most of the groundnuts are contaminated during the harvest and storage process. The problem has been compounded further by the processors who mix the quality groundnuts with the dirty and rotten ones while grinding. 'Directly looking at peanut butter, it is not easy to see the aflotoxins. Unfortunately, any of the methods we use for preparing the nuts, cooking, roasting, cannot remove the toxins because they are chemicals. Their melting point is 300 degrees Celsius,' Kaaya added. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629214-poorly-processed-peanut-butter-causes-cancer.html

Nodding disease centre set in Pader, New Vision,Wednesday, February 22 2012 by Petride Mudoola.

Government should establish a vector control centre in Pader district in order to get rid of the nodding disease within the area, the LC5 Pader District Alfred Akena has advised. Over 200 children have so far died of the mysterious disease in northern Uganda. Ministry of Health reported early this month that it had recorded 66 deaths as a result of the disease. The number has since more than tripled. Recent studies done by the health ministry and the Centre for Disease Control did not indicate any conclusive causes of the nodding disease but established that the number of children infected with the disease had  risen to over 3,000 from 2,000 reported at the beginning of this year. “Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629174-nodding-disease-vector-control-centre-vital-in-pader.html

 

Food joints shut after poisoning, Daily Monitor, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by Simon Peter Emwamu

Food joint owners in Bugondo Sub-county in Serere District are pondering their next move after residents and LC3 chairpersons demolished their business premises over alleged poisoning. The demolition done on Monday comes a day after the residents and the sub-county council resolved that the food spots were being hired by unscrupulous individuals to poison people. “We have discovered that these people are being used, and to safeguard our lives it was inevitable to stop them from doing business,” Mr Okurut said. Mr Apollo Ewidu, the area LC3 chairman, said the vice is on the rise following endless land wrangles in the area. “We shall not allow these people to operate, unless they reveal to us who are the master minders of this act,” he added. Read more at: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1332382/-/b08n02z/-/index.html

 

Nodding disease confounds experts- kill’s children, Agency France Press, Wednesday, February 22 2012

Anywar is one of more than 3,000 children in northern Uganda who are suffering from a debilitating mystery ailment known as nodding disease, which has touched almost every family in the village of Tumangu. For several years, scientists have tried and failed to determine the cause of the illness, which locals say has killed hundreds of youngsters. The disease affects only children and gradually devastates its victims through debilitating seizures, stunted growth, wasted limbs, mental disabilities and sometimes starvation. Scientists are trying to find a cure: since 2010, researchers ranging from epidemiologists to environmental experts, neurologists, toxicologists and psychiatrists have carried out a range of tests. Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/nodding-disease-confounds-experts-kills-children-178523&cp

1200 Namugongo residents get free treatment New Vision Tuesday February 21, 2012 by Elvis Kyotalengerire

. Dr. Nicholas Wooding, the acting vice-chancellor of IHSU, said they offered free health care services and treatment to the low-income residents of Namuwongo as part of their corporate social responsibility. “We realized the people in Namugongo community suffer many common illnesses because they cannot afford and access treatment. Besides, majority lack knowledge on proper hygiene,” Wooding said. “We could not work in isolation. We provided the manpower and a number of organisations, including International Medical Group, National Drug Authority, Joint Medical Stores, Kampala Pharmaceuticals Limited and Quality Chemicals sponsored. Read more at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629115-1-200-namuwongo-residents-get-free-treatment.html

 

Mpigi residents wants more HIV/AIDS Education New Vision Tuesday February 21, 2012 by Elvis Basudde

Residents of Buyiga Island, Kammengo sub-county in Mpigi district have asked government to intensify HIV/AIDS an awareness campaign in the area.It is presumed many people living on the island hold strong convictions on HIV/AIDS."We still carry myths and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. People are hesitant to have HIV tests because they are not sensitized," said Betty Nabwanika of Buyiga A. Participants revealed that during HIV testing in community outreaches, clients are not given enough counselling. And as a result, people who test HIV positive find their health deteriorating immediately. They noted that it discourages other community members from testing for the virus Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629159-mpigi-residents-want-more-hiv-aids-education.html

Infertility- an advantage against prostate cancer, Daily Rx, Tuesday, February 21 2012By Travis Gidding

Children are the future, as they say. But new research into prostate cancer shows, maybe your children says something about your future too. A doctor in Sweden has recently published his thesis, showing that infertile - or what he calls "sub fertile" - men may have half the risk of prostate cancer of men who have at least one child. In a study examining the connection between fertility and prostate cancer risk, Yasir Ruhayel, M.D., from Lund University and Skane University Hospital compared 450 men with prostate cancer against a control group of 450 men without prostate cancer. The link between sub fertility and reduced prostate cancer risk was stronger than other common risk factors including diet, smoking, alcohol use or disease, according to this study. Read more at: http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/prostate-cancer-risk-and-male-infertility-linked-17696.html

 

Patients to continue nodding as funds delay, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 21, 2012  by Harriet Anena

Thousands of children suffering from nodding disease in northern Uganda will continue to wait for a comprehensive intervention with the ministry of health still unsure of when the Shs 7 billion requested for from Finance will be released. The available Shs 100 million mobilised through reallocations from Health Ministry is the only funding being used in the affected districts of Kitgum, Lamwo, and Pader, where the nodding disease has affected 3,000 children and killed 200.The delay in training health workers to handle the nodding symptoms and unavailable money could only mean more suffering for the children and parents most of whom are suffering to keep their children alive.

 

Koboko couple loses baby, files complaint against health centre. Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 21 2012 by Peter Aliga & Felix Warom Okello.

Yossa Mambo has lodged a complaint against a health centre in Yumbe District with the Uganda Human Rights Commission in Arua following the death of his baby during a caesarian operation of his wife. Mambo said his baby’s life could have been saved, but when his wife and him reached Lodonga hospital, the nurse only examined his wife after he realized her condition had worsened and rushed her to Yumbe hospital. The baby’s head was cut during the operation and the body removed, medical reports show that the woman had a ruptured uterus.

Patience cry foul as X-ray machine idle Daily Monitor Tuesday February 21 2012 by Denis Ongeng.

Patients in Apac are paying at least Shs20, 000 for x-ray services in private clinic because the Shs 400m hospital X-ray machine has not been working for months. The patients said that it has become expensive for them to access the services in a private facility. The hospital health officer said the machine lacks chemicals to produce pictures on the X-ray films. One patient who broke his leg in an accident last year said he spent 50,000 on X-ray machines.

Obama’s health visits, New Vision, Monday February, 20th 2012 by John Odyek

 

The Executive Director of US President Barack Obama's Global Health Initiative (GHI) Lois Quam arrives in Uganda today (Monday) for a one week visit to support the Ministry of Health's effort to reduce maternal deaths by 50 percent in four western districts by the end of 2012.According to ministry of health and other health experts, the common causes of death among pregnant mothers are over bleeding, infection, obstructed labour, abortion, pregnancy related hypertension and compounding factors that include malaria and HIV/Aids disease. Only one in four girls have access to contraceptives, and 50 percent of all pregnancies are unintended, resulting in the deaths of around 16 Ugandan mothers each day. Uganda has a shortfall of 2000 midwives who are critical to reduce maternal mortality as pregnant mothers must deliver with a skilled attendant according to the Uganda Nations Fund (UNFPA) for Population Activities. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629135-obama-s-health-official-visits.html

Arthritis: How to tell your child is affected, New Vision , Tuesday, Monday February 20 2012 by Viqué-Ocean Kahinju

According to health experts, this could be juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that may result in joint pain and swelling. They add that arthritis is common among the elderly, but children too can suffer from it although it is rare. Dr. Phillip Besimire, a paediatrician at St. Xavier Child Care Centre, says juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is prevalent in children aged less than 16 years. Symptoms Similar to other forms of arthritis, the symptoms often flash up and disappear, but sometimes can be persistent. A child may have difficulty walking or stretching the limbs. The cause is not specific, but Besimire says the condition occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the cells and tissues, leading to inflammation of the muscles and joints. It is mainly triggered by infections caused by a virus or bacteria. Untreated rheumatoid arthritis causes persistent joint pain, muscle swelling and stiffness, which affects growth body movements, usually resulting in disfigurement or deformities. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629125-arthritis-how-to-tell-your-child-is-affected.html

Bugiri Hospital suffers brain drain, New vision, Friday February 24th 2012, by Frederick Womakuyu

From the Bugiri-Malaba highway, Bugiri hospital appears to be a deserted facility. The tin roofs hovering over the facility are rusted, its doors broken down and the infrastructure is dilapidated. But coming closer to the facility, you see a number of patients are lining up for different services. This is around 9:00am in the morning. However, a keen look around the facility reveals absence of the senior workers — the medical superintendent, the administrator and junior cadres, are yet to show up. I am told to wait. Within half an hour, the administrator shows up but she tells me to wait as she attends to the Resident District Commissioner of Bugiri, who had also showed up to check on the facility.The facility is also supposed to have three doctors but only two are available — the third went to Nairobi, Kenya for further studies. However, Nabulime fears that when he completes his studies, he is also likely to look for greener pastures elsewhere. Nabulime has lost count of the number of doctors from Bugiri hospital who enrol for further studies but never return. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629245-bugiri-hospital-suffers-brain-drain.html

Osire Isaac: a light to hopeless children, New vision, Monday February 27th 2012 by Frederick Womakuyu


Little Alistera Alowo lay in pain on her bed, a mat spread on the earthen floor covered by a mosquito net that protected her open wound on the head from the marauding flies. Blood oozed from the wound as flesh also fell from her head. Set in an isolated hut with an open roof to allow in fresh air, a despicable stench fills the room. She looks tired, restless and hungry. Her wound is dirty, her family had been using motor vehicle oil to treat it, since they escaped from Mbale Hospital six months ago over unpaid bills. Unable to afford the cost of medical care, the family dumped Alistera in an isolated hut, treating her with herbs and oil in the hope that the 9-year-old girl will recover. Alistera has had to lose some body parts. Three quarters of her head is rotting and the entire outer skin has fallen off exposing her skull. Her ear was eaten off by an infection and it was buried the day I visited. I visited Alistera recently at her home in Paya sub-county in Tororo district, courtesy of Dr. Isaac Osire, an ordinary but exceptional Ugandan, who has devoted his time and personal resources to help disabled children whose
families cannot afford the cost of medical care. Using his own money, the Alistera’s condition, none of them was willing to offer their vehicle to transport her. Read more at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629269-osire-isaac-a-light-to-hopeless-children.html

 

Menstruation keeps girls away from school. Newvision Monday February 20th2012 by Godfrey Ojore

Among the hygiene related problems in Katakwi primary schools is lack of pads by the girl child during menstruation.“There is high drop out of girls from school in the district due to lack of sanitary pads for girls,” Damali Asekenye the District Community Development Officer said. She also attributed this problem to lack of knowledge among the parents on how to handle girls when they start their menstruation. She appealed to school administrators to create innovations towards the making of local pads to help girls from poor families. “We shall continue loosing girls from school if we don’t think twice. You need to create avenues of bringing parents on board on this matter,” Asekenye advised. Asekenye was speaking during a one day training of head teachers and teachers from 15 primary schools selected by Water Aid to champion issues of water, hygiene and sanitation The participants agreed to form health clubs in their respective schools to foster issues of sanitation for both school and the community. “I hope to start involving my children to do charity work for the community. The project is very good and I pray it will create great impact among the pupils and teachers,” John Okot the headmaster of Akoboi primary school said.

 

Nodding: MPs task govt to find cash Daily Monitor Wednesday   February 29th 2012 by Yasin Mugerwa

The government has ordered the Ministry of Health to divert about Shs1b meant for malaria control to help hundreds of children in northern Uganda who are dying from the nodding disease. The revelation made by Junior Health Minister Richard Nduhura in Parliament yesterday, angered legislators across the political spectrum, who accused the government of neglecting thousands of sick children in northern Uganda and went on to reject the minister’s proposal. The diversion of malaria funds came on a day Parliament debated the plight of the sick children in the north in an emotional debate in which lawmakers accused the government of discriminating against the people of northern Uganda, a claim government denied. Realising that there was no money for nodding disease in the supplementary budget to be debated, Rukiga MP Jack Sabiiti moved a motion without notice, for Parliament to compel the government to find money for research and feeding the nodding children through a supplementary within two days.  Ms Cerinah Nebanda proposed an amendment to the motion that no supplementary budget should be passed without that of the nodding disease. Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who also represents one of the affected areas, said: “I cannot hold this motion, the issue of nodding disease is an emergency and the motion doesn’t violate any provision of the Constitution. Read more at http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1356062/-/axwubvz/-/index.html

 

Foreigners to get free treatment for HIV, The Sun Wednesday February 29th 2012 By Staff Reporter.

Migrants are currently barred from the service. But ex-Tory cabinet minister Lord Fowler has called for free treatment to be extended to those who have been in Britain for six months.  Foreign students, workers and trafficking victims are among those expected to benefit.  The Department of Health said that safeguards would be introduced to prevent "health tourism". The move comes amid concerns about rising levels of HIV infections and the cost to the NHS of not treating it early. Foreigners are thought not to seek help because it is so costly. Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment into line with all other infectious diseases.”Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others. "Tough guidance will ensure this measure is not abused." It would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, where foreigners can already receive free treatment for HIV. Professor Jane Anderson, chairwoman of the British HIV Association, said: "This is good news for people living in the UK who are HIV positive and also for public health in general." Read more at:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4160496/Foreigners-to-get-free-treatment-for-HIV-on-the-NHS.html

 

Nodding victims in Mulago Sunday Vision Sunday February 4th 2012 by Wokorac Oboi and Raymond Baguma.

 

Over 25 children suffering from mysterious nodding disease were transferred from Kitgum to Mulago National Referral Hospital. Dr Byarugaba Batera the Executive Director of Mulago said they would be handled as medical investigations continue to be carried out. He said they would take off blood samples, carryout urine tests, as well as CT scan examinations. On Friday the government and the World Health Organisation announced a plan to respond to the disease, which will be coordinated by the office of the prime minister. The plan includes bi annual mass treatment of river blindness, increased surveillance, multivitamin and multi-nutrient supplementation and research into the disease.

 

Child birth now painful, Sunday Vision Sunday February 4th 2012 by Robert Atuhairwe

 

76 Kaahwa Adereda a mother of nine and a resident of Kiganda cell of Hoima Municipality says today mothers are told to go with gloves and pay fees, yet back then, all the services were free in the hospitals. It is becoming hard for the poor to have children leading to high infant mortality rate. While Jaon Kiiza 29, a mother of four and a resident of Park cell, Kahoora division says giving birth today is troubling than she saw her mother 20 years ago. Hearing a woman had been operated was rare, unlike today where many deliveries in hospital are by C-section.

 

Kenyan health sector stares at crisis as nurses retire. Daily Monitor Thurseday February 1st 2012 by Edith Fortunate and Gatonye Gathura

More than 13,000 public nurses are set to retire next year, throwing the already under staffed health regime in major personnel crisis. This will be part of the country wide staff shortage in the civil service of those who will turn 60 years. A similar crisis was shaping in the civil service four years ago, but to buy time, the government raised the retirement age to 60 years from 55 with the first of this bunch expected to retire next year. A national survey on the ages of nurses carried out by the ministry of health found out that  more than 14,000 were over 54 in 2007 and thus are eligible to retire by next year.

 

Diaspora to raise money for nodding disease Daily Monitor Tuesday February 28th 2012 by Monitor Team

A group of Ugandans living in the UK are planning to raise funds this Saturday to aid research into the nodding disease that has for the past three years baffled the experts. The group said they are dissatisfied with the governments what they termed as lukewarm response to tackling the disease that has killed at least 200 children in Northern Uganda. The organizers said funds will support social care demands faced by families affected by the disease.

American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid, Newvision Monday April 02 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. She added that since hiring a doctor and making Bugobero health centre theatre operational in June last year, about 190 general anaesthesia surgeries including many emergency caesarean operations have been carried out thereby contributing to the decrease of maternal and newborn mortality rates in Manafwa district. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-American-charity-equips-Manafwa-with-medical-aid.html

CoRSU Hospital Kisubi set to start special surgeries, Newvision Sunday April 01 2012 by Gladys Kalibbala

It is good news for patients who have been flying abroad for special surgeries like hip surgery and knee implants. Now such medical procedures will be handled at the newly opened private ward at CoRSU hospital in Kisubi on the way to Entebbe.  Aloysius Kaganda Bakidde, the president, CoRSU Executive Board explains that since these services will be paid for, the income generated from the private wing will be used in assisting with the surgeries on children with disabilities. He says CoRSU which started operations in 2009 is the only hospital in Uganda currently offering significantly subsidized services to children with physical disability. “We intend to see that people with disability in Uganda are able to access rehabilitation services that improve their quality of life and that they are fully integrated in society,” he explains. Bakidde urged government to come out and address around physical disabilities where he believes 80% of physically disabilities in Uganda that occur in children can be prevented, reduced or cured through timely interventions. “The alternatives of complications that are not curable in the knees or hips are treated by replacing them,” he says.

 

Last group of nodding disease children discharged Newvision Friday March 29th 2012 by Violet Nabatanzi

The last group of children suffering from nodding disease has been discharged from Mulago national referral hospital. "They are expected to report to the treatment centres for follow up documents before returning to their homes," the hospital's spokesperson Dan Kimosho said. The hospital will continue to work closely with the ministry of health to monitor the affected children but from the established centres. One of the children who had a problem of brain trauma underwent a successful operation, Kimosho confirmed. Before this last group, Mulago had discharged about 20 children who were suffering from the same disease. The screening and treatment centres are in Kitgum, Pader and the other affected districts.  Nodding disease is believed to be a new type of disorder characterized by head-nodding episodes that consist of the repetitive dropping forward of the head.  So far over 3000 children, mainly boys between the ages of five and 15 have been affected with 170 reported dead. The germ which causes river blindness also causes epilepsy in children.   According to research by the World health Organization (WHO) the affected region lies within an area where river blindness is prevalent. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629956-Last-group-of-nodding-disease-children-discharged.html

 

Sleep for good health looks  Newvision Tuesday March 27th 2012 by Vicky Wandawa

Rose Okot, a general physician at Mulago Hospital, warns that lack of sleep not only makes you look and feel at your worst, but can also lead to ill health.“Adults require at least eight hours of sleep. You can tell when you are not getting enough sleep. Irritability and moodiness are among the first signs.”

She warns of less concentration at work. “You may fall into micro sleeps of about five or more seconds during an activity, which may make you seem unprofessional. The need for more sleep is the body’s natural way of alerting us that you do not sleep enough.”Okot says during sleep, the body repairs its cells and also fights infections. She says: “Insufficient sleep, therefore, makes one more susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.” Other signs of insufficient sleep include depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, reduced ability to deal with stress, forgetfulness and poor judgment.

Until one gets enough sleep, they usually do not realise how much the lack of it has affected them. Clare Nabwiso, an auditor, says it was only when she started getting enough sleep that she realised how restless she had become. “Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629913-Sleep-for-good-health--looks.html

37% Ugandan sex workers are HIV positive Newvision Saturday March 24th 2012 by Joyce Nyakato

New research published in The Lancet, an international medical journal, has revealed that commercial sex workers in Uganda have one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. Some 99,878 female sex workers in 50 countries (14 in Asia, four in Eastern Europe, 11 in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in the Middle East and 20 in Africa), were subjects in the study conducted between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2011. Results of the study, which was led by Dr. Stefan Baral of the US-based John Hopkins School of Public Health, were released on Thursday. The study, which assessed the burden of HIV compared to that of other women of reproductive age, found that the burden is disproportionately high and concluded that there is an urgent need to scale up access to quality HIV prevention programs for sex workers. State minister for ethics and integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo agrees that like all Ugandans, sex workers have a right to HIV treatment and attention. “However, giving them the leeway to operate as a business is too much to ask from the Government,” he said. partners as clients,” Stefan wrote. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629853-37--Ugandan-sex-workers-are-HIV-positive.html

New study shows D.C female condom program highly effective HIV infections Anguilla News by Kiki Kalkstein

Great news! Yesterday, a new study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that the female condom program in Washington, D.C., is highly effective in preventing HIV infection. These findings are cause for excitement as they affirm the importance of female condoms in preventing HIV and other STIs and unintended pregnancies in the U.S. and around the world. We know that investing in female condoms is the right thing to do and now we have additional data to continue to make the case for female condoms as a cost effective prevention intervention. These findings are significant for female condom advocates as we continue to face challenges from decision makers regarding the cost effectiveness of female condoms. The analysis concluded that the program, executed through a public-private partnership between the D.C. Department of Health, Female Health Company, and CVS/Caremark, produced significant cost-savings and “prevented enough infections in its first year to save more than $8 million in future medical costs over and above the cost of the program.” The study also showed that the female condom is an excellent public health investment and that provision and promotion of the female condom, especially in high HIV prevalence geographic areas, deserves a place in the HIV prevention toolkit. Read more at:

http://www.anguillanews.com/enews/index.php/permalink/4240.html

 

Vaccine to prevent heart attacks: study DawnCom

A team headed by Prof Prediman Shah from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in the United States and Prof Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden, along with a team of other researchers, claim that a vaccine is being developed to prevent heart attacks. Scientists believe that the vaccine could be made available to the public in five years, according to a report published in The Indian Express. The study states that the formation of fatty plaques in blood vessels is one of the main reasons which cause heart attacks. The experiments conducted by a team of scientists prove that it is possible to change the way human immune system reacts to plaques present in the arteries. The experiments also show that the vaccines can reduce the inflammation and severity of the formation of plaques. The team has successfully developed a formula for the vaccine which can reduce the plaque formation by 60 to 70 per cent in mice and the vaccine currently awaits regulatory clearance for clinical trials.http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/02/vaccine-to-prevent-heart-attacks-study.html

Over 10 million Ugandans lack access to safe water, New vision Thursday March 22 by Godfrey Ojore

As the world marks World Water Day today, close to a quarter of Uganda’s population lack access to safe water, according to research by Water Aid Uganda.Most of those without access either live in hard-to-reach areas or parts of the country that have been affected by war.Speaking during the launch of Water Aid/EU funded post-conflict project in Soroti, Alice Anukur, the country representative Water Aid Uganda said they are intervening to rescue communities from such places.“The project we are launching has a goal of equitable and sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene for poor communities in post conflict areas of Uganda,.“In Napak, water coverage is at 49% while sanitation is less than 10%. This points to the need for greater emphasis on sanitation improvement in the district with appropriate approaches,” Anukur explained.http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629797-over-10-million-ugandans-lack-access-to-safe-water.html

Pallisa closes eating places. New vision, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. By Lawrence Okwakol.

The Pallisa deputy resident commissioner, Ambrose Onoria, has suspended all eating kiosks and drinking joints in Kabwangasi sub-county. This was after the acting district health officer, Dr. David Okoth, disclosed that there was a cholera outbreak in Doko village, in Kabwangasi sub-county last week.   Dr. Okoth said the first victim got cholera after eating food from a kiosk on Budaka-Mbale Road. The victim was later rushed to Busiu Treatment centre in Mbale district where he was treated and discharged.Four other people from Doko village contracted the disease and were admitted to Namatala Treatment Centre in Mbale Municipality. Dr. Okoth advised people to practise good hygiene like washing hands with clean water after visiting the toilet and drinking boiled water from recommended water sources. He also advised them to avoid eating from roadside kiosks. http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629782-pallisa-closes-eating-places.html

Water Aid launches WASH magazine New vision, Thurseday March 22nd 2012 by Agnes Kyotalengerirekyo.

WaterAid Uganda has launched a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) magazine.  The magazine was launched by water and environment minister, Maria Mutagamba to mark this year’s international Women’s Day at the Media Centre in Kampala. Speaking at the launch, Mutagamba stressed that women and girls had a right to healthy, secure and dignified life. The magazine aims at empowering women and girls through improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. It has inspiring stories about issues, challenges women and girls in the East African region face due to lack of access to water. WaterAid’s head of policy, Rebecca Alowo, said easy access to simple facilities and washrooms is important, especially for adolescent girls to stay in school and reach their potential. Alice Anukur, WaterAid’s country representative, said the magazine will be published annually.  Apart from inspiring girls and women, the magazine will also show different ways in which girls and women can access WASH services. Phttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629781-wateraid-launches-wash-magazine.htmlublish Date: Mar 21, 2012

 

HIV Rate Drops in Northern Uganda Daily Monitor Monday March 19th 2012 by Flavia Lanyero

The HIV/Aids prevalence in northern Uganda has significantly dropped from 8.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent despite the hard times the region has been going through. Five years ago, the region now in the recovery process, had one of the highest rates which was blamed on the long-running armed conflict, which forced thousands into internally displaced people’s camps.A preliminary Aids Indicator Survey 2011 released on Friday in Kampala shows that the Mid-North, North-East, East-Central and Kampala had between 5 and 7 per cent prevalence rates. Dr Alex Opio, the lead researcher, who is also the assistant Commissioner for National Disease Control, yesterday said this was a preliminary analysis that did not capture the causes of the drop and increase.It is only mid-eastern and West Nile regions that had less than five percent prevalence. The mid-eastern districts: Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Mbale, Bududa, Manafwa, Tororo, Butaleja, Sironko, Pallisa, Budaka and Busia have 3.7 per cent prevalence. West Nile comprising Moyo, Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua, Koboko,

 

Bananas key in men’s sexuality, New vision Monday 12th 2012 by Agnes Kyotalengerire

Many people eat bananas simply because they are sweet. But did you know that they are loaded with nutrients? Nutritionists say bananas are rich in potassium, fibre, iron, zinc, sodium, carbohydrates as well as vitamins B6, A, C, B1, B2 and E. Geoffrey Babughirana, a dietician at World Vision, recommends that men, especially, take three small-size bananas or one medium-size bogoya (cavendish) daily. He says the black tiny seeds in the midrib are rich in zinc and Vitamin E, which boost men’s sexual ability, sperm count and sperm speed.  “The potassium and sodium content in bananas regulates the body’s water balance. The more potassium one has, the more fluid there is in the body, hence preventing dehydration,” observes, Alex Mukori, a nutritionist. “For instance, if one has diarrhoea and takes bananas, they help replace the lost fluid.”Bananas are also excellent stress busters, due to their high potassium content, Mukori explains.

 

District health officer arrested for stealing drugs Newvision Monday March 26th 2012 by Frederick Kiwanuka

The Nakaseke District Health Officer, Dr.Badru Sessimba has been arrested in an ongoing operation by State House to curb misappropriation of funds and theft of drugs in the district’s health department.Sessimba was arrested on Saturday by a team of security personnel from the presidential medical and health service delivery monitoring unit over allegations of financial impropriety and abuse of office.The arrest followed a month of investigations during which the operation team detectives visited several health units in the district.Another male nurse at Nakaseke Hospital, David Sekiranda was nabbed with drugs and medical equipped worth over 30m three months ago.Moses Talemwa, a detective attached to the team, said Sessimba allegedly diverted millions of shillings which were meant for implementing health services in the Nakaseke.Among other allegations, Sessimba is accused of having misappropriated funds which were meant for immunization. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629876-district-health-officer-arrested-for-stealing-drugs.html

37% Ugandan sex workers are HIV positive, Newvision Saturday March 24th 2012 by Joyce Nyakato

New research published in The Lancet, an international medical journal, has revealed that commercial sex workers in Uganda have one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. Some 99,878 female sex workers in 50 countries (14 in Asia, four in Eastern Europe, 11 in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in the Middle East and 20 in Africa), were subjects in the study conducted between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2011. Results of the study, which was led by Dr. Stefan Baral of the US-based John Hopkins School of Public Health, were released on Thursday. The study, which assessed the burden of HIV compared to that of other women of reproductive age, found that the burden is disproportionately high and concluded that there is an urgent need to scale up access to quality HIV prevention programs for sex workers.State minister for ethics and integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo agrees that like all Ugandans, sex workers have a right to HIV treatment and attention.“However, giving them the leeway to operate as a business is too much to ask from the Government,” he said. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629853-37-ugandan-sex-workers-are-hiv-positive.html

320 women in Mbarara screened for cancer Newvision Tuesday March 20th 2012 by Mark Owor

A total of 320 women in Mbarara were on Saturday screened and tested for breast and cervical cancer at Mbarara referral hospital in western Uganda. It follows a partnership cancer awareness campaign between Centenary Bank and Rotary International last year to organize cancer vaccinations, testing, sensitization and referrals to access proper medical facilities.“Last year we launched a three-year anti-cancer initiative campaign in partnership with Rotary International to construct a two-storied cancer ward worth sh330m at St. Francis Hospital Nsambya,” the corporate affairs and communications manager, Allen Ayebare said.“The partnership includes holding of 12 community days spreading across the country during which cancer vaccinations, testing, sensitization and referrals to hospitals will be done as well as enhancing public awareness about early diagnosis and treatment options for cancer,” Ayebare stressed. She explained that only 45% of breast cancer patients and 18% of cervical cancer patients survive five years after diagnosis, which researchers attribute to late diagnosis due to ignorance and lack of technology. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629734-320-women-in-mbarara-screened-for-cancer.html

TB spreads 29% faster in jail The excess Tribune  Sunday March 25th 2012 by our correspondent

Tuberculosis (TB) spreads 29 per cent faster in jail than it does outside because the country’s prisons are overcrowded and inmates live in close proximity, said Punjab TB Control Programme Director Dr Drakashan Badar at an orientation session for journalists on World TB Day on Saturday.Dr Badar said the closer two people are, the faster the disease travels between them. The close physical proximity of prisoners in overcrowded jails was the reason for the higher rates of TB in prisons than outside, she said.Over 100,000 prisoners have been screened for TB under a Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) linkage programme, she said. “Health is a human right and those who are in jail do not forfeit this right. If inmates are not treated in jail for TB, they can put the general population at risk of the disease when they come out of jail,” she said.

ARVs shortage soars as sh43.9b lies idle, New vision Sunday April 8th 2012 by Conan Businge


While people living with HIV/AIDS were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers, findings of an audit report have revealed. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS drugs. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010.Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the program coordinator’s salary, leaving an unutilized balance of sh43.9b. The AG, Peter Nyombi says this reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilization of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report calls for positive action as regards the findings. Read more athttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630169-arvs-shortage-soars-as-sh43-9b-lies-idle.html

 

Girl walks 12km for ARVs Newvision Tuesday April 10th 2012 by Tom Gwebayanga

For the last five months, 17-year-old Martha (not real name) has been a common sight on the Nabirumba-Kamuli road on her way to pick antiretro- viral (ARV) drugs from Kamuli Hospital. Her monthly trek began in December last year after her father, a resident of Nabwigulu sub-county, kicked her out of his home, saying he would not waste his resources on an HIV/ AIDS patient. Left with no choice, Martha left to live with grandfather, 9km farther away from the nearest health facility. This meant that despite her precarious health, she had to walk 12km to pick ARVs. Martha’s plight came to light last Friday at Nabirumba Health Centre III, where Plan, an NGO, organised a function to mark the World Tuberculosis Day. the Kamuli district information officer, Joseph Ngobi, said. Ngobi said Martha’s life was in danger because the grandfather, Nasani Musengawe, was too poor to provide a balanced diet or food supplements for the girl, let alone for him. “She is sickly because of poor feeding. A person on ARVs needs to eat foods that are rich in proteins and carbohydrates,” Ngobi added. “I have lost hope. Much as I get the drugs, I should have a balanced diet, which my grandfather cannot afford,” Martha said.
She said she loves matooke, rice, meat, chicken and milk but nobody can offer her such food. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630207-girl-walks-12km-for-arvs.html

Womens height linked to ovarian cancer Newvision Monday April 9th 2012

Taller women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a review of studies. Obesity is also a risk factor among women who have never taken HRT, say international researchers.
Previous studies have suggested a link, but there has been conflicting evidence.
The latest research, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, analysed all worldwide data on the topic.
It looked at 47 epidemiological studies in 14 countries, including about 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and more than 80,000 women without ovarian cancer.
Lead researcher Prof Valerie Beral of the Oxford University Epidemiology Unit told the BBC: "By bringing together the worldwide evidence, it became clear that height is a risk factor."
She said there was also a clear relationship between obesity and ovarian cancer in women who had never taken HRT."Ovarian cancer can clearly be added to the list [of cancers linked to obesity]," she added. Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said the study produced a clearer picture of the factors that could affect a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, and found that body size was important. "Women can reduce their risk of this and many other diseases by keeping to a healthy weight," she said. "For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active." Commenting on the study, Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the increase in risk was small. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630206-women-s-height-linked-to-ovarian-cancer.html

Hungarian IPU institute donate to Cancer Foundation, New vision Wednesday April 04 2012, by Violet Nabatanzi

Uganda Child Cancer Foundation has received 2,000 euros (about sh6.8m) from Hungarian delegation to the ongoing IPU assembly taking place in Kampala. The delegation led by Ambassador Sandor Juhasz handed over the funds to Dr. Jackson Orem; the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Juhasz said that they want to make the life of suffering children get better. "Uganda is far from Hungary but such humane action will bring us very close to each other," Juhasz said.
Orem assured the delegates that he will make sure that the donated fund goes directly to children affected with cancer. "As a foundation we have managed to achieve many instrumental achievements, as I speak now we have some children that managed to overcome the disease through the support of the clinical team from UCI, but we followed them back and we see them going back to school normally," Orem said.  The medical officer UCI, Nixon Niyonzima said the commonest type of cancer in children is Burkitt's lymphoma and on average the institute admits 15 children per month.
"Some of the challenges we are faced with is that the fact that the patients come when it is too late, sometimes they go to traditional healers first and wait until the condition gets worse," Niyonzima said.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630094-hungarian-ipu-delegates-donate-to-cancer-foundation.html

Sh43.9b lies idle as ARV shortage bites Newvision Monday April 9th 2012 by Canon Businge

While people living with HIV were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS medicines. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010. Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the Program Coordinator’s salary leaving unutilised balance of sh43.9b. This, the AG says, reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilisation of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report recommends that the management of the health ministry “should follow up the matter to ensure that there is timely release of the project funds to enable implementation of all agreed activities.” In response to the audit report, the Ministry of Health explained that they had addressed the problem by appointing the National Medical Stores as the procurement agent for pharmaceuticals and health supplies for the public sector. This move was designed to improve funds absorption since most of the money is meant for buying pharmaceuticals and health supplies. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630187-sh43-9b-lies-idle-as-arv-shortage-bites.html

 

Tuberculosis on the rise in prisons New vision Thursday April 5th 2012 by Petride Mudoola

The medical superintendent at Murchison Bay Hospital Luzira Prisons has advised Government to invest in the management of tuberculosis (TB) in prisons so as to eradicate the disease. Dr Joseph Andama Oluka says TB prevalence in detention facilities is two to five times much higher than the one in the national average, which requires immediate intervention. "Despite the high TB prevalence rate in prisons, interventions to reduce the disease are still minimal.” According to the Prisons medical service, TB prevalence in prisons stands at 10% compared to the 6.4% national prevalence rate. Currently more than 70 prisoners are on TB treatment. Oluka cites congestion in the detention facilities as part of the problem. “The determinacy of infectious diseases like tuberculosis is very prevalent in prisons due to congestion and given the fact that majority of the prisoners are poor and come from disease trodden areas.” Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Uganda with an annual incidence of 330 cases of all forms and 136 new smear positive cases per 100,000 people per year according to reports from World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Global Report released in 2010 ranked Uganda 16th among the 22 TB high burden countries and the expected case load per year is 102,000 people. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630110-tuberculosis-on-the-rise-in-prisons.html

 

Govt to provide free food to nodding children, says Mbabazi Newvision  Thursday April 5th 2012 by Francis Kagolo

The Government is to supply free food to children in northern Uganda particularly areas worst hit by nodding disease as one of the measures to curb the epidemic Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has announced. He also declared mass treatment of river blindness in the entire region as the country awaits health experts to discover the cause and best treatment for nodding disease. The area is river blindness endemic. “We are going to supply  food because one of the problems in the area is  lack of  food and  basic vitamins among children. We have so far set up three treatment centres. We want to increase them to at least 10 so that all children can be observed, given food and drugs.”” Mbabazi said. “He revealed this on Wednesday during a meeting with a group of visiting US senators and representatives who came to Uganda courtesy of CARE, a global charity organization working in northern Uganda. The meeting took place at this office in Kampala. The delegation, led by Helene Gayle, the chief executive of CARE USA, and Johnny Isakson, senator of Georgia, wanted to know efforts the Government was undertaking to develop the war-torn northern Uganda.
Mbabazi said, save for nodding disease which was posing new challenges, the region was on the right track to total recovery and development, thanks to the Peace Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP). Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630127-govt-to-provide-free-food-to-nodding-children-says-mbabazi.html

 

Tachoma hits 6,000 in Moroto Newvision Wednesday April 04th 2012 by O.Wanyama

Over 6,000 people have been treated for eye complications at Moroto Hospital over the last three months. The officer in charge of the hospital’s eye clinic, Sister Emily Akullu, said most of the patient’s rare suffering from trachoma that has hit the districts of Napak and Moroto. Trachoma is caused by bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. The disease presents with swollen itchy eyes and a yellow discharge from the eyes. The signs of trachoma are usually noticed five to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria.It spreads through poor hygiene and sharing face towels. Akullu told New Vision on Saturday that between 30 to 50 patients are diagnosed with trachoma every day. She said many people suffer from cataracts and other defects that can be managed if treatment starts early. Akullu cautioned residents on the dangers of delayed treatment of trachoma, saying it could cause blindness. She said trachoma can be prevented by improving sanitation, especially among children who are at high at risk of contracting the disease. Akullu said the district health department is using village health teams to sensitise the communities on sanitation and the importance of seeking treatment early. The World Health Organisation says about six million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million others are in dire need of treatment. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630091-tachoma-hits-6-000-in-moroto.html

 

Moyo health workers take on tropical diseases New vision Tuesday April 03rd2012  by  Andrew Amvesi
The health officials and community leaders in Moyo district have laid strategies to carry out massive campaigns on neglected tropical disease which have affected the local communities in the rural areas.  The move is aimed at fighting neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, trachoma, elephantiasis and Bilharzias that have affected most communities especially along river banks and near forested areas.  During a sensitization and advocacy meeting that was held at Moyo district headquarters on Friday, the Vector control officer, Nicholas Onwong, said most people in rural areas are at a higher risk of contracting the diseases due to the nature of their settlement. “Majority of us opted to settle along river banks and in forested areas for reasons of easy cultivation without knowing that parasites which transmit tropical neglected diseases also live with us,” Onwong asserted. He urged such community members to visit health units and community based medicine distributors for drugs in an effort to fight tropical neglected diseases in the district.  Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630077-moyo-health-workers-take-on-tropical-diseases.html


American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid Newvision Tuesday April 2nd 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. Clarke said her organisation was committed to working in partnership with Manafwa district authorities in up-grading Bugobero health centre to a district hospital.“The equipment donation is part of a comprehensive health sector development plan that covers mother, infant and young child nutrition and malnutrition management, health sector human resource development and maternal health under a public-private partnership,” Clarke said. Clarke said KHI joined hands with Manafwa district in March 2011 to provide supply chain management assistance through donation of drugs and supplies and identified nurses and clinical officers, who were passionate about patient care and provided them with a monetary incentive for their hard work and commitment to patient care at Bugobero health centre. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-american-charity-equips-manafwa-with-medical-aid.html


ARVs shortage soars as sh43.9b lies idle, New vision Sunday April 8th 2012 by Conan Businge


While people living with HIV/AIDS were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers, findings of an audit report have revealed. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS drugs. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010.Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the program coordinator’s salary, leaving an unutilized balance of sh43.9b. The AG, Peter Nyombi says this reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilization of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report calls for positive action as regards the findings. Read more athttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630169-arvs-shortage-soars-as-sh43-9b-lies-idle.html

 

Girl walks 12km for ARVs Newvision Tuesday April 10th 2012 by Tom Gwebayanga

For the last five months, 17-year-old Martha (not real name) has been a common sight on the Nabirumba-Kamuli road on her way to pick antiretro- viral (ARV) drugs from Kamuli Hospital. Her monthly trek began in December last year after her father, a resident of Nabwigulu sub-county, kicked her out of his home, saying he would not waste his resources on an HIV/ AIDS patient. Left with no choice, Martha left to live with grandfather, 9km farther away from the nearest health facility. This meant that despite her precarious health, she had to walk 12km to pick ARVs. Martha’s plight came to light last Friday at Nabirumba Health Centre III, where Plan, an NGO, organised a function to mark the World Tuberculosis Day. the Kamuli district information officer, Joseph Ngobi, said. Ngobi said Martha’s life was in danger because the grandfather, Nasani Musengawe, was too poor to provide a balanced diet or food supplements for the girl, let alone for him. “She is sickly because of poor feeding. A person on ARVs needs to eat foods that are rich in proteins and carbohydrates,” Ngobi added. “I have lost hope. Much as I get the drugs, I should have a balanced diet, which my grandfather cannot afford,” Martha said.
She said she loves matooke, rice, meat, chicken and milk but nobody can offer her such food. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630207-girl-walks-12km-for-arvs.html

Womens height linked to ovarian cancer Newvision Monday April 9th 2012

Taller women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a review of studies. Obesity is also a risk factor among women who have never taken HRT, say international researchers.
Previous studies have suggested a link, but there has been conflicting evidence.
The latest research, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, analysed all worldwide data on the topic.
It looked at 47 epidemiological studies in 14 countries, including about 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and more than 80,000 women without ovarian cancer.
Lead researcher Prof Valerie Beral of the Oxford University Epidemiology Unit told the BBC: "By bringing together the worldwide evidence, it became clear that height is a risk factor."
She said there was also a clear relationship between obesity and ovarian cancer in women who had never taken HRT."Ovarian cancer can clearly be added to the list [of cancers linked to obesity]," she added. Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said the study produced a clearer picture of the factors that could affect a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, and found that body size was important. "Women can reduce their risk of this and many other diseases by keeping to a healthy weight," she said. "For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active." Commenting on the study, Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the increase in risk was small. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630206-women-s-height-linked-to-ovarian-cancer.html

Hungarian IPU institute donate to Cancer Foundation, Newvision Wednesday April 04 2012, by Violet Nabatanzi

Uganda Child Cancer Foundation has received 2,000 euros (about sh6.8m) from Hungarian delegation to the ongoing IPU assembly taking place in Kampala. The delegation led by Ambassador Sandor Juhasz handed over the funds to Dr. Jackson Orem; the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Juhasz said that they want to make the life of suffering children get better. "Uganda is far from Hungary but such humane action will bring us very close to each other," Juhasz said.
Orem assured the delegates that he will make sure that the donated fund goes directly to children affected with cancer. "As a foundation we have managed to achieve many instrumental achievements, as I speak now we have some children that managed to overcome the disease through the support of the clinical team from UCI, but we followed them back and we see them going back to school normally," Orem said.  The medical officer UCI, Nixon Niyonzima said the commonest type of cancer in children is Burkitt's lymphoma and on average the institute admits 15 children per month.
"Some of the challenges we are faced with is that the fact that the patients come when it is too late, sometimes they go to traditional healers first and wait until the condition gets worse," Niyonzima said.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630094-hungarian-ipu-delegates-donate-to-cancer-foundation.html

Sh43.9b lies idle as ARV shortage bites Newvision Monday April 9th 2012 by Canon Businge

While people living with HIV were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS medicines. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010. Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the Program Coordinator’s salary leaving unutilised balance of sh43.9b. This, the AG says, reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilisation of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report recommends that the management of the health ministry “should follow up the matter to ensure that there is timely release of the project funds to enable implementation of all agreed activities.” In response to the audit report, the Ministry of Health explained that they had addressed the problem by appointing the National Medical Stores as the procurement agent for pharmaceuticals and health supplies for the public sector. This move was designed to improve funds absorption since most of the money is meant for buying pharmaceuticals and health supplies. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630187-sh43-9b-lies-idle-as-arv-shortage-bites.html



 

Tuberculosis on the rise in prisons New vision Thursday April 5th 2012 by Petride Mudoola

The medical superintendent at Murchison Bay Hospital Luzira Prisons has advised Government to invest in the management of tuberculosis (TB) in prisons so as to eradicate the disease. Dr Joseph Andama Oluka says TB prevalence in detention facilities is two to five times much higher than the one in the national average, which requires immediate intervention. "Despite the high TB prevalence rate in prisons, interventions to reduce the disease are still minimal.” According to the Prisons medical service, TB prevalence in prisons stands at 10% compared to the 6.4% national prevalence rate. Currently more than 70 prisoners are on TB treatment. Oluka cites congestion in the detention facilities as part of the problem. “The determinacy of infectious diseases like tuberculosis is very prevalent in prisons due to congestion and given the fact that majority of the prisoners are poor and come from disease trodden areas.” Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Uganda with an annual incidence of 330 cases of all forms and 136 new smear positive cases per 100,000 people per year according to reports from World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Global Report released in 2010 ranked Uganda 16th among the 22 TB high burden countries and the expected case load per year is 102,000 people. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630110-tuberculosis-on-the-rise-in-prisons.html

 

Govt to provide free food to nodding children, says Mbabazi Newvision  Thursday April 5th 2012 by Francis Kagolo

The Government is to supply free food to children in northern Uganda particularly areas worst hit by nodding disease as one of the measures to curb the epidemic Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has announced. He also declared mass treatment of river blindness in the entire region as the country awaits health experts to discover the cause and best treatment for nodding disease. The area is river blindness endemic. “We are going to supply  food because one of the problems in the area is  lack of  food and  basic vitamins among children. We have so far set up three treatment centres. We want to increase them to at least 10 so that all children can be observed, given food and drugs.”” Mbabazi said. “He revealed this on Wednesday during a meeting with a group of visiting US senators and representatives who came to Uganda courtesy of CARE, a global charity organization working in northern Uganda. The meeting took place at this office in Kampala. The delegation, led by Helene Gayle, the chief executive of CARE USA, and Johnny Isakson, senator of Georgia, wanted to know efforts the Government was undertaking to develop the war-torn northern Uganda.
Mbabazi said, save for nodding disease which was posing new challenges, the region was on the right track to total recovery and development, thanks to the Peace Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP). Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630127-govt-to-provide-free-food-to-nodding-children-says-mbabazi.html

 

Tachoma hits 6,000 in Moroto Newvision Wednesday April 04th 2012 by O.Wanyama

Over 6,000 people have been treated for eye complications at Moroto Hospital over the last three months. The officer in charge of the hospital’s eye clinic, Sister Emily Akullu, said most of the patient’s rare suffering from trachoma that has hit the districts of Napak and Moroto. Trachoma is caused by bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. The disease presents with swollen itchy eyes and a yellow discharge from the eyes. The signs of trachoma are usually noticed five to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria.It spreads through poor hygiene and sharing face towels. Akullu told New Vision on Saturday that between 30 to 50 patients are diagnosed with trachoma every day. She said many people suffer from cataracts and other defects that can be managed if treatment starts early. Akullu cautioned residents on the dangers of delayed treatment of trachoma, saying it could cause blindness. She said trachoma can be prevented by improving sanitation, especially among children who are at high at risk of contracting the disease. Akullu said the district health department is using village health teams to sensitise the communities on sanitation and the importance of seeking treatment early. The World Health Organisation says about six million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million others are in dire need of treatment. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630091-tachoma-hits-6-000-in-moroto.html

 

Moyo health workers take on tropical diseases Newvision Tuesday April 03rd 2012 by  Andrew Amvesi
The health officials and community leaders in Moyo district have laid strategies to carry out massive campaigns on neglected tropical disease which have affected the local communities in the rural areas.  The move is aimed at fighting neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, trachoma, elephantiasis and Bilharzias that have affected most communities especially along river banks and near forested areas.  During a sensitization and advocacy meeting that was held at Moyo district headquarters on Friday, the Vector control officer, Nicholas Onwong, said most people in rural areas are at a higher risk of contracting the diseases due to the nature of their settlement. “Majority of us opted to settle along river banks and in forested areas for reasons of easy cultivation without knowing that parasites which transmit tropical neglected diseases also live with us,” Onwong asserted. He urged such community members to visit health units and community based medicine distributors for drugs in an effort to fight tropical neglected diseases in the district.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630077-moyo-health-workers-take-on-tropical-diseases.html


American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid Newvision Tuesday April 2nd 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. Clarke said her organisation was committed to working in partnership with Manafwa district authorities in up-grading Bugobero health centre to a district hospital.“The equipment donation is part of a comprehensive health sector development plan that covers mother, infant and young child nutrition and malnutrition management, health sector human resource development and maternal health under a public-private partnership,” Clarke said. Clarke said KHI joined hands with Manafwa district in March 2011 to provide supply chain management assistance through donation of drugs and supplies and identified nurses and clinical officers, who were passionate about patient care and provided them with a monetary incentive for their hard work and commitment to patient care at Bugobero health centre. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-american-charity-equips-manafwa-with-medical-aid.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uganda to Make new Aids Drugs New vision Wednesday 08 February 2012 By Taddeo Bwambale and Vivian Agaba.

Quality chemicals a Ugandan pharmaceutical company will next month start producing a new ARV drug (Tenofovir), a monthly dose of this will cost $ 20 as compared to $ 600 for the same drug in Europe. While most advanced countries have switched to Tenofovir, many poor countries have not because it is expensive yet it is a first line treatment for HIV. According to the medical stores general manager Moses Kamabare, the purchase of anti-malarial and ARVs locally has significantly reduced on cases of stock outs and the cost of buying the ARVs from the plant has slightly reduced from $ 2.4 per dose when production began to $ 1.9.

 

Government offers condolences over nodding disease Daily Monitor, Wednesday February 8, 2012 By Sheila Naturinda

The deputy, leader of government business, Gen. Moses Ali acknowledge that the situation of the nodding disease is mysterious, but said he had asked the Minister of health, Dr. Christine Ondoa to explain and answer all demands made by the political leaders of the Acholi sub region districts where children are affected. The Acholi MPs therefore tabled a bill in parliament demanding that Acholi region be declared a disaster area having; a comprehensive report, creating mobile clinics, a full budget be channeled to the area and intensified research to discover the name and cause of the disease.

Plague outbreak suspected as two die in Arua Daily Monitor, Wednesday February 8 2012 By Felix Warom Okello and Clement Aluma

A fresh outbreak of plague is suspected in Arua after two people died of similar symptoms in Vurra County and the district health officials have put the community on alert, although the DHO of Arua said he is still consulting the details of the disease. The plague outbreaks were from the neighboring DR Congo over the years.

 

Women circumcised by force, Daily Monitor, Monday, February 13th 2012 by Joseph Aliti

Women who refuse to undergo female genital mutilation in pokot and Tepit communities in Karimoja sub-region are forcibly cut by traditional birth attendants during delivering. This is criminal and I strongly warn who ever has been doing it to stop because they risk ending in prison, State minister for gender Rukiya Nakadama reveals. This practice infringes on women’s rights and causes physical harm thus a threat to their reproductive health. With funds from UNICEF, UNFPA and France government a zero tolerance program was launched in the region last year.

80 nursing students stranded as education minister closes school, Daily Monitor, Monday, February 13th 2012

At least 80 students of Nwoya teaching hospital medical school are stranded after the institute closed following directive from minister of education for allegedly operating illegally. The institute opened last year and its director Dr. Claive Onen collected shs 700,000-800,000 and the students complained that they have not been taught and having a deteriorating standards of living at the school. This was there after followed by the doctor’s arrest.

Uganda facing condom shortage, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Brian Ssenoga Kimuli.

Uganda needs about 3 billion condoms a year to cater for about 10 million people who are in the active age bracket, health official notes. The country has been importing about 120 million condoms annually in the last five years, but this figure is way beyond the current demand. Dr.Mina Ssali, the Public Relations Officer Uganda Cares says National Condom day comes on February 14th Valentine’s Day which is an ideal day to encourage condom use when love and lust are high.

 

Israel to support health services in Uganda, New vision, Monday, February 13th 2012 by vision reporter

The new Israel ambassador to Uganda has disclosed that his ministry will support Uganda’s health ministry in establishing vibrant ambulance service in the country. Ambassador Gil Heskel said this during his visit to Uganda emphasizing that Israel is willing to strengthen co-operation with Uganda in many areas, health being one of them.

 

Maternal Child care project launched, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Paul Bishanga

A five year maternal and childcare health project has been launched in Kabale district. Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo, a senior health official said 200-bed hospital will be constructed and six ambulances will be purchased to enable the transportation of mothers from the rural areas. Dr. Francis Mwesigye Runumi therefore cautions health workers against laxity in their work.

 

More ARV centre’s needed, Daily Monitor, Tuesday February 14, 2012, by Joseph Mugisha

The limited number of health centre’s that offer ARV services in the Rwenzori region is hindering  the efforts to cater for people living with HIV Aids. The 41 facilities in the region are not enough and the facilities are poor due to poor facilities and poor staff remunerations the Kyegegwa District Chairman Norman Birungi says.

 

Embrace new health system, New vision, Monday, February 13th 2012 by Rukia Nakamatte.

The ministry of health working closely with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) and IntraHealth, have developed the human resources for health a tool that can avail you with reliable information on health workers which will provide accurate data and sufficient system for the flow of information. More than 60% of the health workers are in urban areas serving less than 20% of the population yet 80% of these live in rural areas. The new system will therefore provide data on available health workers, their distribution and their productivity. This system will also provide reliable and complete evidence for health work force planning, recruitment, deployment and payroll management.

 

Health Ministry to demolish 100 theatres, Daily Monitor, Wednesday, February 15th 2012 by Agatha Ayebazibwe

More than 100 theatres at the lower health units built at Shs 100 million each will face demolition while others are to be rehabilitated. These facilities were built to boost healthcare at health centre IVs and their demolition could mean a loss of at least shs10b spent on construction, minus the cost of demolition. The theaters are in Kihihi, Kabale, Sironko, Mubende, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Lira Masaka and Hoima, although these structures remained unused because they did not meet basic standards both in design and structure.

 

Mulago cancer Institute gets shs 27m,  New vision, Wednesday, February 15th 2012 by Violet Natabanzi and Vivian Agaba

The Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago Hospita receives over 27M shs for prostate cancer research. The director of Uganda Cancer Institute Jackson Orem said no research had been done on prostate cancer in Uganda since 1965 and many men with such cases report late for diagnosis which makes it that out of the 100 diagnosed with cancer, 80 die after a year.

 

Mulago rehabilitation plan released, New vision, Thursday, February 16th February 2012 by John Odyek and Joyce Namutebi

Parliament has approved a $73M (shs168b) from African Development bank and $15M (shs 35b) from the Nigeria Trust Fund to improve health services at Mulago referral hospital and two city hospitals. Dr. Richard Ndahuura minister for health said this project would be implemented over 54-month period and it is designed to redirect the high demand for basic healthcare that currently congests at Mulago. This will also support establishment of two new secondary health facilities at Makindye and Kawempe.

 

US govt boosts health drive for UPDF, New vision, Thursday, February 16th   2012 by Raymond Baguma

The US embassy in Kampala has donated three mobile surgical unit, three vans, four trucks with tents and surgical gear worth sh1.8b to be used in safe Medical circumcision by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. Observing that SMC does not provide 100% protection against HIV/AIDS, the US ambassador Jerry Lanier urged surgical teams to always tell their clients of other ways to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. These teams will also help the UPDF meet its bold goal of circumcising 60,000 men over the next three years.   

 

14-year-old Arua mum fighting for life, New vision, Thursday, February 16th 2012 by Richard Drasimaku

A 14-year old mother who underwent a caesarean section at Nebbi Hospital last month is stranded at Arua Hospital in critical condition. According to a medical report, part of the girl’s abdomen was left with a gaping wound and Arua Hospital doctors said some of her internal organs were cut during the caesarean section.

 

Kasese district records 30 new cholera cases , New vision, Thursday, February 2012 by Benard Masereka.

A cholera outbreak in Bukonzo west constituency in Kasese district has hit another low point since it was first reported in October. Last Thursday, 30 cases were reported to the Cholera treatment centres and a meeting by the district leaders resolved that the sale of all food stuffs be banned immediately and heads of households without latrines be arrested and public latrines be dug to curb this. It was also observed that inadequate water supply in the affected area had made it hard for the residents to maintain a good sanitation in the area.

 

Kalungu gets Shs 4b Aids hospital, Daily Monitor, Thursday, February 16 2012 by Brian Ssenoga Kimuli

A state-of-the art hospital for specialized treatment of people living with HIV/Aids in Lukaya Town, Kalunga district to eradicate HIV/Aids scourge in Uganda got a boost yesterday after Uganda Cares NGO announced its construction. The facility is expected to offer free treatment to about 30,000 HIV/Aids patients a year. A survey done last year by ministry of health in the district found the prevalence rate here to be very high at 12%, while testing and counseling services are relatively low and only 38% of the people know their status. This is therefore a move to increase access to HIV/Aids services.

 

Nodding disease cause unknown-expert New vision Friday February 17, 2012 by Anne Mugisha

A US-based health expert has arrived in Uganda to help find more clues on the cause of the nodding disease epidemic in Northern Uganda. Dr. Scott Dowell told journalists that numerous tests done at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta in US have not revealed much about the disease. However, two strong leads being followed have connection to river blindness (Onchocerciasis), low serum concentration and low Vitamin B6 was detected too. Serum is the blood component which does not contain the white blood cells or the clotting factor. The affected people 95% of whom are children 5-15 years will be treated with epileptic drugs.

 

Project to reduce maternal, child mortality starts in Kibaale, New vision, Friday, February 17 2012 Ismael Kasooha

The infectious disease has launched a one year project code named “Saving Mothers Giving Life” at reducing the death of mothers and new-born babies in Kibaale district with support from the US. Edward Kyagulany the project coordinator said the project will ensure that all expectant mothers get obstetric care while giving birth in all health facilities in Kibaale. This intervention followed data indicating 450 mothers out of every 100,000 die annually due to complications in delivering. The mothers will be supported with incentives like transport to and fro the health centre’s, nutrition foods, baby kits and treated mosquito nets.

 

CSM Vaccinations in upper East region GBC News 24th Friday February 2012

Following reports of an outbreak of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis, CSM, in the Upper East Region which claimed 16 lives, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Awoonor Williams says vaccination exercises are ongoing by health workers to help eradicate the disease. Speaking on GBC's Current Affairs Programme 'Behind the News', Dr. Williams said people with the disease should report early to health centres for treatment.  He said most people with the disease resort to other places for a cure instead of health centers. Read more at: http://www.gbcghana.com/index.php?id=1.795674

Poorly processed peanut butter causes cancer, New Vision, Thursday February23rd2012 by Prossy Nandudu

Consumption of poorly processed peanut butter can cause Cancer of the Liver, according to a research done by Makerere University in partnership with the University of Georgia. Dr. A. Achilleo Kaaya, the lead researcher from the faculty of Food Science and Technology, said most of the groundnuts are contaminated during the harvest and storage process. The problem has been compounded further by the processors who mix the quality groundnuts with the dirty and rotten ones while grinding. 'Directly looking at peanut butter, it is not easy to see the aflotoxins. Unfortunately, any of the methods we use for preparing the nuts, cooking, roasting, cannot remove the toxins because they are chemicals. Their melting point is 300 degrees Celsius,' Kaaya added. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629214-poorly-processed-peanut-butter-causes-cancer.html

 

 

Nodding disease centre set in Pader, New Vision,Wednesday, February 22 2012 by Petride Mudoola. 

Government should establish a vector control centre in Pader district in order to get rid of the nodding disease within the area, the LC5 Pader District Alfred Akena has advised. Over 200 children have so far died of the mysterious disease in northern Uganda. Ministry of Health reported early this month that it had recorded 66 deaths as a result of the disease. The number has since more than tripled. Recent studies done by the health ministry and the Centre for Disease Control did not indicate any conclusive causes of the nodding disease but established that the number of children infected with the disease had  risen to over 3,000 from 2,000 reported at the beginning of this year. “Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629174-nodding-disease-vector-control-centre-vital-in-pader.html

 

Food joints shut after poisoning, Daily Monitor, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by Simon Peter Emwamu

Food joint owners in Bugondo Sub-county in Serere District are pondering their next move after residents and LC3 chairpersons demolished their business premises over alleged poisoning. The demolition done on Monday comes a day after the residents and the sub-county council resolved that the food spots were being hired by unscrupulous individuals to poison people. “We have discovered that these people are being used, and to safeguard our lives it was inevitable to stop them from doing business,” Mr Okurut said. Mr Apollo Ewidu, the area LC3 chairman, said the vice is on the rise following endless land wrangles in the area. “We shall not allow these people to operate, unless they reveal to us who are the master minders of this act,” he added. Read more at: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1332382/-/b08n02z/-/index.html

 

Nodding disease confounds experts- kill’s children, Agency France Press, Wednesday, February 22 2012

Anywar is one of more than 3,000 children in northern Uganda who are suffering from a debilitating mystery ailment known as nodding disease, which has touched almost every family in the village of Tumangu. For several years, scientists have tried and failed to determine the cause of the illness, which locals say has killed hundreds of youngsters. The disease affects only children and gradually devastates its victims through debilitating seizures, stunted growth, wasted limbs, mental disabilities and sometimes starvation. Scientists are trying to find a cure: since 2010, researchers ranging from epidemiologists to environmental experts, neurologists, toxicologists and psychiatrists have carried out a range of tests. Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/nodding-disease-confounds-experts-kills-children-178523&cp

1200 Namugongo residents get free treatment New Vision Tuesday February 21, 2012 by Elvis Kyotalengerire

. Dr. Nicholas Wooding, the acting vice-chancellor of IHSU, said they offered free health care services and treatment to the low-income residents of Namuwongo as part of their corporate social responsibility. “We realized the people in Namugongo community suffer many common illnesses because they cannot afford and access treatment. Besides, majority lack knowledge on proper hygiene,” Wooding said. “We could not work in isolation. We provided the manpower and a number of organisations, including International Medical Group, National Drug Authority, Joint Medical Stores, Kampala Pharmaceuticals Limited and Quality Chemicals sponsored. Read more at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629115-1-200-namuwongo-residents-get-free-treatment.html

 

Mpigi residents wants more HIV/AIDS Education New Vision Tuesday February 21, 2012 by Elvis Basudde

Residents of Buyiga Island, Kammengo sub-county in Mpigi district have asked government to intensify HIV/AIDS an awareness campaign in the area.It is presumed many people living on the island hold strong convictions on HIV/AIDS."We still carry myths and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. People are hesitant to have HIV tests because they are not sensitized," said Betty Nabwanika of Buyiga A. Participants revealed that during HIV testing in community outreaches, clients are not given enough counselling. And as a result, people who test HIV positive find their health deteriorating immediately. They noted that it discourages other community members from testing for the virus Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629159-mpigi-residents-want-more-hiv-aids-education.html

Infertility- an advantage against prostate cancer, Daily Rx, Tuesday, February 21 2012By Travis Gidding

Children are the future, as they say. But new research into prostate cancer shows, maybe your children says something about your future too. A doctor in Sweden has recently published his thesis, showing that infertile - or what he calls "sub fertile" - men may have half the risk of prostate cancer of men who have at least one child. In a study examining the connection between fertility and prostate cancer risk, Yasir Ruhayel, M.D., from Lund University and Skane University Hospital compared 450 men with prostate cancer against a control group of 450 men without prostate cancer. The link between sub fertility and reduced prostate cancer risk was stronger than other common risk factors including diet, smoking, alcohol use or disease, according to this study. Read more at: http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/prostate-cancer-risk-and-male-infertility-linked-17696.html

 

Patients to continue nodding as funds delay, Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 21, 2012  by Harriet Anena

Thousands of children suffering from nodding disease in northern Uganda will continue to wait for a comprehensive intervention with the ministry of health still unsure of when the Shs 7 billion requested for from Finance will be released. The available Shs 100 million mobilised through reallocations from Health Ministry is the only funding being used in the affected districts of Kitgum, Lamwo, and Pader, where the nodding disease has affected 3,000 children and killed 200.The delay in training health workers to handle the nodding symptoms and unavailable money could only mean more suffering for the children and parents most of whom are suffering to keep their children alive.

 

Koboko couple loses baby, files complaint against health centre. Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 21 2012 by Peter Aliga & Felix Warom Okello.

Yossa Mambo has lodged a complaint against a health centre in Yumbe District with the Uganda Human Rights Commission in Arua following the death of his baby during a caesarian operation of his wife. Mambo said his baby’s life could have been saved, but when his wife and him reached Lodonga hospital, the nurse only examined his wife after he realized her condition had worsened and rushed her to Yumbe hospital. The baby’s head was cut during the operation and the body removed, medical reports show that the woman had a ruptured uterus.

Patience cry foul as X-ray machine idle Daily Monitor Tuesday February 21 2012 by Denis Ongeng.

Patients in Apac are paying at least Shs20, 000 for x-ray services in private clinic because the Shs 400m hospital X-ray machine has not been working for months. The patients said that it has become expensive for them to access the services in a private facility. The hospital health officer said the machine lacks chemicals to produce pictures on the X-ray films. One patient who broke his leg in an accident last year said he spent 50,000 on X-ray machines.

Obama’s health visits, New Vision, Monday February, 20th 2012 by John Odyek

 

The Executive Director of US President Barack Obama's Global Health Initiative (GHI) Lois Quam arrives in Uganda today (Monday) for a one week visit to support the Ministry of Health's effort to reduce maternal deaths by 50 percent in four western districts by the end of 2012.According to ministry of health and other health experts, the common causes of death among pregnant mothers are over bleeding, infection, obstructed labour, abortion, pregnancy related hypertension and compounding factors that include malaria and HIV/Aids disease. Only one in four girls have access to contraceptives, and 50 percent of all pregnancies are unintended, resulting in the deaths of around 16 Ugandan mothers each day. Uganda has a shortfall of 2000 midwives who are critical to reduce maternal mortality as pregnant mothers must deliver with a skilled attendant according to the Uganda Nations Fund (UNFPA) for Population Activities. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629135-obama-s-health-official-visits.html

Arthritis: How to tell your child is affected, New Vision , Tuesday, Monday February 20 2012 by Viqué-Ocean Kahinju

According to health experts, this could be juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that may result in joint pain and swelling. They add that arthritis is common among the elderly, but children too can suffer from it although it is rare. Dr. Phillip Besimire, a paediatrician at St. Xavier Child Care Centre, says juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is prevalent in children aged less than 16 years. Symptoms Similar to other forms of arthritis, the symptoms often flash up and disappear, but sometimes can be persistent. A child may have difficulty walking or stretching the limbs. The cause is not specific, but Besimire says the condition occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the cells and tissues, leading to inflammation of the muscles and joints. It is mainly triggered by infections caused by a virus or bacteria. Untreated rheumatoid arthritis causes persistent joint pain, muscle swelling and stiffness, which affects growth body movements, usually resulting in disfigurement or deformities. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629125-arthritis-how-to-tell-your-child-is-affected.html

Bugiri Hospital suffers brain drain, New vision, Friday February 24th 2012, by Frederick Womakuyu

From the Bugiri-Malaba highway, Bugiri hospital appears to be a deserted facility. The tin roofs hovering over the facility are rusted, its doors broken down and the infrastructure is dilapidated. But coming closer to the facility, you see a number of patients are lining up for different services. This is around 9:00am in the morning. However, a keen look around the facility reveals absence of the senior workers — the medical superintendent, the administrator and junior cadres, are yet to show up. I am told to wait. Within half an hour, the administrator shows up but she tells me to wait as she attends to the Resident District Commissioner of Bugiri, who had also showed up to check on the facility.The facility is also supposed to have three doctors but only two are available — the third went to Nairobi, Kenya for further studies. However, Nabulime fears that when he completes his studies, he is also likely to look for greener pastures elsewhere. Nabulime has lost count of the number of doctors from Bugiri hospital who enrol for further studies but never return. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629245-bugiri-hospital-suffers-brain-drain.html

Osire Isaac: a light to hopeless children, New vision, Monday February 27th 2012 by Frederick Womakuyu


Little Alistera Alowo lay in pain on her bed, a mat spread on the earthen floor covered by a mosquito net that protected her open wound on the head from the marauding flies. Blood oozed from the wound as flesh also fell from her head. Set in an isolated hut with an open roof to allow in fresh air, a despicable stench fills the room. She looks tired, restless and hungry. Her wound is dirty, her family had been using motor vehicle oil to treat it, since they escaped from Mbale Hospital six months ago over unpaid bills. Unable to afford the cost of medical care, the family dumped Alistera in an isolated hut, treating her with herbs and oil in the hope that the 9-year-old girl will recover. Alistera has had to lose some body parts. Three quarters of her head is rotting and the entire outer skin has fallen off exposing her skull. Her ear was eaten off by an infection and it was buried the day I visited. I visited Alistera recently at her home in Paya sub-county in Tororo district, courtesy of Dr. Isaac Osire, an ordinary but exceptional Ugandan, who has devoted his time and personal resources to help disabled children whose
families cannot afford the cost of medical care. Using his own money, the Alistera’s condition, none of them was willing to offer their vehicle to transport her. Read more at http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629269-osire-isaac-a-light-to-hopeless-children.html

 

Menstruation keeps girls away from school. Newvision Monday February 20th2012 by Godfrey Ojore

Among the hygiene related problems in Katakwi primary schools is lack of pads by the girl child during menstruation.“There is high drop out of girls from school in the district due to lack of sanitary pads for girls,” Damali Asekenye the District Community Development Officer said. She also attributed this problem to lack of knowledge among the parents on how to handle girls when they start their menstruation. She appealed to school administrators to create innovations towards the making of local pads to help girls from poor families. “We shall continue loosing girls from school if we don’t think twice. You need to create avenues of bringing parents on board on this matter,” Asekenye advised. Asekenye was speaking during a one day training of head teachers and teachers from 15 primary schools selected by Water Aid to champion issues of water, hygiene and sanitation The participants agreed to form health clubs in their respective schools to foster issues of sanitation for both school and the community. “I hope to start involving my children to do charity work for the community. The project is very good and I pray it will create great impact among the pupils and teachers,” John Okot the headmaster of Akoboi primary school said.

 

Nodding: MPs task govt to find cash Daily Monitor Wednesday   February 29th 2012 by Yasin Mugerwa

The government has ordered the Ministry of Health to divert about Shs1b meant for malaria control to help hundreds of children in northern Uganda who are dying from the nodding disease. The revelation made by Junior Health Minister Richard Nduhura in Parliament yesterday, angered legislators across the political spectrum, who accused the government of neglecting thousands of sick children in northern Uganda and went on to reject the minister’s proposal. The diversion of malaria funds came on a day Parliament debated the plight of the sick children in the north in an emotional debate in which lawmakers accused the government of discriminating against the people of northern Uganda, a claim government denied. Realising that there was no money for nodding disease in the supplementary budget to be debated, Rukiga MP Jack Sabiiti moved a motion without notice, for Parliament to compel the government to find money for research and feeding the nodding children through a supplementary within two days.  Ms Cerinah Nebanda proposed an amendment to the motion that no supplementary budget should be passed without that of the nodding disease. Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who also represents one of the affected areas, said: “I cannot hold this motion, the issue of nodding disease is an emergency and the motion doesn’t violate any provision of the Constitution. Read more at http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1356062/-/axwubvz/-/index.html

 

Foreigners to get free treatment for HIV, The Sun Wednesday February 29th 2012 By Staff Reporter.

Migrants are currently barred from the service. But ex-Tory cabinet minister Lord Fowler has called for free treatment to be extended to those who have been in Britain for six months.  Foreign students, workers and trafficking victims are among those expected to benefit.  The Department of Health said that safeguards would be introduced to prevent "health tourism". The move comes amid concerns about rising levels of HIV infections and the cost to the NHS of not treating it early. Foreigners are thought not to seek help because it is so costly. Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment into line with all other infectious diseases.”Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others. "Tough guidance will ensure this measure is not abused." It would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, where foreigners can already receive free treatment for HIV. Professor Jane Anderson, chairwoman of the British HIV Association, said: "This is good news for people living in the UK who are HIV positive and also for public health in general." Read more at:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4160496/Foreigners-to-get-free-treatment-for-HIV-on-the-NHS.html

 

Nodding victims in Mulago Sunday Vision Sunday February 4th 2012 by Wokorac Oboi and Raymond Baguma.

Over 25 children suffering from mysterious nodding disease were transferred from Kitgum to Mulago National Referral Hospital. Dr Byarugaba Batera the Executive Director of Mulago said they would be handled as medical investigations continue to be carried out. He said they would take off blood samples, carryout urine tests, as well as CT scan examinations. On Friday the government and the World Health Organisation announced a plan to respond to the disease, which will be coordinated by the office of the prime minister. The plan includes bi annual mass treatment of river blindness, increased surveillance, multivitamin and multi-nutrient supplementation and research into the disease.

 

Child birth now painful, Sunday Vision Sunday February 4th 2012 by Robert Atuhairwe

76 Kaahwa Adereda a mother of nine and a resident of Kiganda cell of Hoima Municipality says today mothers are told to go with gloves and pay fees, yet back then, all the services were free in the hospitals. It is becoming hard for the poor to have children leading to high infant mortality rate. While Jaon Kiiza 29, a mother of four and a resident of Park cell, Kahoora division says giving birth today is troubling than she saw her mother 20 years ago. Hearing a woman had been operated was rare, unlike today where many deliveries in hospital are by C-section.

 

Kenyan health sector stares at crisis as nurses retire. Daily Monitor Thurseday February 1st 2012 by Edith Fortunate and Gatonye Gathura

More than 13,000 public nurses are set to retire next year, throwing the already under staffed health regime in major personnel crisis. This will be part of the country wide staff shortage in the civil service of those who will turn 60 years. A similar crisis was shaping in the civil service four years ago, but to buy time, the government raised the retirement age to 60 years from 55 with the first of this bunch expected to retire next year. A national survey on the ages of nurses carried out by the ministry of health found out that  more than 14,000 were over 54 in 2007 and thus are eligible to retire by next year.

 

Diaspora to raise money for nodding disease Daily Monitor Tuesday February 28th 2012 by Monitor Team

A group of Ugandans living in the UK are planning to raise funds this Saturday to aid research into the nodding disease that has for the past three years baffled the experts. The group said they are dissatisfied with the governments what they termed as lukewarm response to tackling the disease that has killed at least 200 children in Northern Uganda. The organizers said funds will support social care demands faced by families affected by the disease.

American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid, Newvision Monday April 02 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. She added that since hiring a doctor and making Bugobero health centre theatre operational in June last year, about 190 general anaesthesia surgeries including many emergency caesarean operations have been carried out thereby contributing to the decrease of maternal and newborn mortality rates in Manafwa district. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-American-charity-equips-Manafwa-with-medical-aid.html

CoRSU Hospital Kisubi set to start special surgeries, Newvision Sunday April 01 2012 by Gladys Kalibbala

It is good news for patients who have been flying abroad for special surgeries like hip surgery and knee implants. Now such medical procedures will be handled at the newly opened private ward at CoRSU hospital in Kisubi on the way to Entebbe.  Aloysius Kaganda Bakidde, the president, CoRSU Executive Board explains that since these services will be paid for, the income generated from the private wing will be used in assisting with the surgeries on children with disabilities. He says CoRSU which started operations in 2009 is the only hospital in Uganda currently offering significantly subsidized services to children with physical disability. “We intend to see that people with disability in Uganda are able to access rehabilitation services that improve their quality of life and that they are fully integrated in society,” he explains. Bakidde urged government to come out and address around physical disabilities where he believes 80% of physically disabilities in Uganda that occur in children can be prevented, reduced or cured through timely interventions. “The alternatives of complications that are not curable in the knees or hips are treated by replacing them,” he says.

 

Last group of nodding disease children discharged Newvision Friday March 29th 2012 by Violet Nabatanzi

The last group of children suffering from nodding disease has been discharged from Mulago national referral hospital. "They are expected to report to the treatment centres for follow up documents before returning to their homes," the hospital's spokesperson Dan Kimosho said. The hospital will continue to work closely with the ministry of health to monitor the affected children but from the established centres. One of the children who had a problem of brain trauma underwent a successful operation, Kimosho confirmed. Before this last group, Mulago had discharged about 20 children who were suffering from the same disease. The screening and treatment centres are in Kitgum, Pader and the other affected districts.  Nodding disease is believed to be a new type of disorder characterized by head-nodding episodes that consist of the repetitive dropping forward of the head.  So far over 3000 children, mainly boys between the ages of five and 15 have been affected with 170 reported dead. The germ which causes river blindness also causes epilepsy in children.   According to research by the World health Organization (WHO) the affected region lies within an area where river blindness is prevalent. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629956-Last-group-of-nodding-disease-children-discharged.html

 

Sleep for good health looks  Newvision Tuesday March 27th 2012 by Vicky Wandawa

Rose Okot, a general physician at Mulago Hospital, warns that lack of sleep not only makes you look and feel at your worst, but can also lead to ill health.“Adults require at least eight hours of sleep. You can tell when you are not getting enough sleep. Irritability and moodiness are among the first signs.” She warns of less concentration at work. “You may fall into micro sleeps of about five or more seconds during an activity, which may make you seem unprofessional. The need for more sleep is the body’s natural way of alerting us that you do not sleep enough.”Okot says during sleep, the body repairs its cells and also fights infections. She says: “Insufficient sleep, therefore, makes one more susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.” Other signs of insufficient sleep include depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, reduced ability to deal with stress, forgetfulness and poor judgment. Until one gets enough sleep, they usually do not realise how much the lack of it has affected them. Clare Nabwiso, an auditor, says it was only when she started getting enough sleep that she realised how restless she had become. “Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629913-Sleep-for-good-health--looks.html

 

37% Ugandan sex workers are HIV positive Newvision Saturday March 24th 2012 by Joyce Nyakato

New research published in The Lancet, an international medical journal, has revealed that commercial sex workers in Uganda have one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. Some 99,878 female sex workers in 50 countries (14 in Asia, four in Eastern Europe, 11 in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in the Middle East and 20 in Africa), were subjects in the study conducted between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2011. Results of the study, which was led by Dr. Stefan Baral of the US-based John Hopkins School of Public Health, were released on Thursday. The study, which assessed the burden of HIV compared to that of other women of reproductive age, found that the burden is disproportionately high and concluded that there is an urgent need to scale up access to quality HIV prevention programs for sex workers. State minister for ethics and integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo agrees that like all Ugandans, sex workers have a right to HIV treatment and attention. “However, giving them the leeway to operate as a business is too much to ask from the Government,” he said. partners as clients,” Stefan wrote. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629853-37--Ugandan-sex-workers-are-HIV-positive.html

New study shows D.C female condom program highly effective HIV infections Anguilla News by Kiki Kalkstein

Great news! Yesterday, a new study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that the female condom program in Washington, D.C., is highly effective in preventing HIV infection. These findings are cause for excitement as they affirm the importance of female condoms in preventing HIV and other STIs and unintended pregnancies in the U.S. and around the world. We know that investing in female condoms is the right thing to do and now we have additional data to continue to make the case for female condoms as a cost effective prevention intervention. These findings are significant for female condom advocates as we continue to face challenges from decision makers regarding the cost effectiveness of female condoms. The analysis concluded that the program, executed through a public-private partnership between the D.C. Department of Health, Female Health Company, and CVS/Caremark, produced significant cost-savings and “prevented enough infections in its first year to save more than $8 million in future medical costs over and above the cost of the program.” The study also showed that the female condom is an excellent public health investment and that provision and promotion of the female condom, especially in high HIV prevalence geographic areas, deserves a place in the HIV prevention toolkit. Read more at: http://www.anguillanews.com/enews/index.php/permalink/4240.html

 

Vaccine to prevent heart attacks: study DawnCom

A team headed by Prof Prediman Shah from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in the United States and Prof Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden, along with a team of other researchers, claim that a vaccine is being developed to prevent heart attacks. Scientists believe that the vaccine could be made available to the public in five years, according to a report published in The Indian Express. The study states that the formation of fatty plaques in blood vessels is one of the main reasons which cause heart attacks. The experiments conducted by a team of scientists prove that it is possible to change the way human immune system reacts to plaques present in the arteries. The experiments also show that the vaccines can reduce the inflammation and severity of the formation of plaques. The team has successfully developed a formula for the vaccine which can reduce the plaque formation by 60 to 70 per cent in mice and the vaccine currently awaits regulatory clearance for clinical trials. Read more at: http://www.dawn.com/2012/04/02/vaccine-to-prevent-heart-attacks-study.html

Over 10 million Ugandans lack access to safe water, New vision Thursday March 22 by Godfrey Ojore

As the world marks World Water Day today, close to a quarter of Uganda’s population lack access to safe water, according to research by Water Aid Uganda.Most of those without access either live in hard-to-reach areas or parts of the country that have been affected by war.Speaking during the launch of Water Aid/EU funded post-conflict project in Soroti, Alice Anukur, the country representative Water Aid Uganda said they are intervening to rescue communities from such places.“The project we are launching has a goal of equitable and sustainable access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene for poor communities in post conflict areas of Uganda,.“In Napak, water coverage is at 49% while sanitation is less than 10%. This points to the need for greater emphasis on sanitation improvement in the district with appropriate approaches,” Anukur explained.http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629797-over-10-million-ugandans-lack-access-to-safe-water.html

Pallisa closes eating places. New vision, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. By Lawrence Okwakol.

The Pallisa deputy resident commissioner, Ambrose Onoria, has suspended all eating kiosks and drinking joints in Kabwangasi sub-county. This was after the acting district health officer, Dr. David Okoth, disclosed that there was a cholera outbreak in Doko village, in Kabwangasi sub-county last week.   Dr. Okoth said the first victim got cholera after eating food from a kiosk on Budaka-Mbale Road. The victim was later rushed to Busiu Treatment centre in Mbale district where he was treated and discharged.Four other people from Doko village contracted the disease and were admitted to Namatala Treatment Centre in Mbale Municipality. Dr. Okoth advised people to practise good hygiene like washing hands with clean water after visiting the toilet and drinking boiled water from recommended water sources. He also advised them to avoid eating from roadside kiosks. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629782-pallisa-closes-eating-places.html

Water Aid launches WASH magazine New vision, Thurseday March 22nd 2012 by Agnes Kyotalengerirekyo.

WaterAid Uganda has launched a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) magazine.  The magazine was launched by water and environment minister, Maria Mutagamba to mark this year’s international Women’s Day at the Media Centre in Kampala. Speaking at the launch, Mutagamba stressed that women and girls had a right to healthy, secure and dignified life. The magazine aims at empowering women and girls through improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. It has inspiring stories about issues, challenges women and girls in the East African region face due to lack of access to water. WaterAid’s head of policy, Rebecca Alowo, said easy access to simple facilities and washrooms is important, especially for adolescent girls to stay in school and reach their potential. Alice Anukur, WaterAid’s country representative, said the magazine will be published annually.  Apart from inspiring girls and women, the magazine will also show different ways in which girls and women can access WASH services. Phttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629781-wateraid-launches-wash-magazine.htmlublish Date: Mar 21, 2012

 

HIV Rate Drops in Northern Uganda Daily Monitor Monday March 19th 2012 by Flavia Lanyero

The HIV/Aids prevalence in northern Uganda has significantly dropped from 8.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent despite the hard times the region has been going through. Five years ago, the region now in the recovery process, had one of the highest rates which was blamed on the long-running armed conflict, which forced thousands into internally displaced people’s camps.A preliminary Aids Indicator Survey 2011 released on Friday in Kampala shows that the Mid-North, North-East, East-Central and Kampala had between 5 and 7 per cent prevalence rates. Dr Alex Opio, the lead researcher, who is also the assistant Commissioner for National Disease Control, yesterday said this was a preliminary analysis that did not capture the causes of the drop and increase.It is only mid-eastern and West Nile regions that had less than five percent prevalence. The mid-eastern districts: Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Mbale, Bududa, Manafwa, Tororo, Butaleja, Sironko, Pallisa, Budaka and Busia have 3.7 per cent prevalence. West Nile comprising Moyo, Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua, Koboko,

 

Bananas key in men’s sexuality, New vision Monday 12th 2012 by Agnes Kyotalengerire

Many people eat bananas simply because they are sweet. But did you know that they are loaded with nutrients? Nutritionists say bananas are rich in potassium, fibre, iron, zinc, sodium, carbohydrates as well as vitamins B6, A, C, B1, B2 and E. Geoffrey Babughirana, a dietician at World Vision, recommends that men, especially, take three small-size bananas or one medium-size bogoya (cavendish) daily. He says the black tiny seeds in the midrib are rich in zinc and Vitamin E, which boost men’s sexual ability, sperm count and sperm speed.  “The potassium and sodium content in bananas regulates the body’s water balance. The more potassium one has, the more fluid there is in the body, hence preventing dehydration,” observes, Alex Mukori, a nutritionist. “For instance, if one has diarrhoea and takes bananas, they help replace the lost fluid.”Bananas are also excellent stress busters, due to their high potassium content, Mukori explains.

 

District health officer arrested for stealing drugs Newvision Monday March 26th 2012 by Frederick Kiwanuka

The Nakaseke District Health Officer, Dr.Badru Sessimba has been arrested in an ongoing operation by State House to curb misappropriation of funds and theft of drugs in the district’s health department.Sessimba was arrested on Saturday by a team of security personnel from the presidential medical and health service delivery monitoring unit over allegations of financial impropriety and abuse of office.The arrest followed a month of investigations during which the operation team detectives visited several health units in the district.Another male nurse at Nakaseke Hospital, David Sekiranda was nabbed with drugs and medical equipped worth over 30m three months ago.Moses Talemwa, a detective attached to the team, said Sessimba allegedly diverted millions of shillings which were meant for implementing health services in the Nakaseke.Among other allegations, Sessimba is accused of having misappropriated funds which were meant for immunization. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629876-district-health-officer-arrested-for-stealing-drugs.html

37% Ugandan sex workers are HIV positive, Newvision Saturday March 24th 2012 by Joyce Nyakato

New research published in The Lancet, an international medical journal, has revealed that commercial sex workers in Uganda have one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. Some 99,878 female sex workers in 50 countries (14 in Asia, four in Eastern Europe, 11 in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in the Middle East and 20 in Africa), were subjects in the study conducted between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2011. Results of the study, which was led by Dr. Stefan Baral of the US-based John Hopkins School of Public Health, were released on Thursday. The study, which assessed the burden of HIV compared to that of other women of reproductive age, found that the burden is disproportionately high and concluded that there is an urgent need to scale up access to quality HIV prevention programs for sex workers.State minister for ethics and integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo agrees that like all Ugandans, sex workers have a right to HIV treatment and attention.“However, giving them the leeway to operate as a business is too much to ask from the Government,” he said. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629853-37-ugandan-sex-workers-are-hiv-positive.html

320 women in Mbarara screened for cancer Newvision Tuesday March 20th 2012 by Mark Owor

A total of 320 women in Mbarara were on Saturday screened and tested for breast and cervical cancer at Mbarara referral hospital in western Uganda. It follows a partnership cancer awareness campaign between Centenary Bank and Rotary International last year to organize cancer vaccinations, testing, sensitization and referrals to access proper medical facilities.“Last year we launched a three-year anti-cancer initiative campaign in partnership with Rotary International to construct a two-storied cancer ward worth sh330m at St. Francis Hospital Nsambya,” the corporate affairs and communications manager, Allen Ayebare said.“The partnership includes holding of 12 community days spreading across the country during which cancer vaccinations, testing, sensitization and referrals to hospitals will be done as well as enhancing public awareness about early diagnosis and treatment options for cancer,” Ayebare stressed. She explained that only 45% of breast cancer patients and 18% of cervical cancer patients survive five years after diagnosis, which researchers attribute to late diagnosis due to ignorance and lack of technology. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/629734-320-women-in-mbarara-screened-for-cancer.html

TB spreads 29% faster in jail The excess Tribune  Sunday March 25th 2012 by our correspondent

Tuberculosis (TB) spreads 29 per cent faster in jail than it does outside because the country’s prisons are overcrowded and inmates live in close proximity, said Punjab TB Control Programme Director Dr Drakashan Badar at an orientation session for journalists on World TB Day on Saturday.Dr Badar said the closer two people are, the faster the disease travels between them. The close physical proximity of prisoners in overcrowded jails was the reason for the higher rates of TB in prisons than outside, she said.Over 100,000 prisoners have been screened for TB under a Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) linkage programme, she said. “Health is a human right and those who are in jail do not forfeit this right. If inmates are not treated in jail for TB, they can put the general population at risk of the disease when they come out of jail,” she said.

ARVs shortage soars as sh43.9b lies idle, New vision Sunday April 8th 2012 by Conan Businge


While people living with HIV/AIDS were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers, findings of an audit report have revealed. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS drugs. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010.Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the program coordinator’s salary, leaving an unutilized balance of sh43.9b. The AG, Peter Nyombi says this reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilization of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report calls for positive action as regards the findings. Read more athttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630169-arvs-shortage-soars-as-sh43-9b-lies-idle.html

 

Girl walks 12km for ARVs Newvision Tuesday April 10th 2012 by Tom Gwebayanga

For the last five months, 17-year-old Martha (not real name) has been a common sight on the Nabirumba-Kamuli road on her way to pick antiretro- viral (ARV) drugs from Kamuli Hospital. Her monthly trek began in December last year after her father, a resident of Nabwigulu sub-county, kicked her out of his home, saying he would not waste his resources on an HIV/ AIDS patient. Left with no choice, Martha left to live with grandfather, 9km farther away from the nearest health facility. This meant that despite her precarious health, she had to walk 12km to pick ARVs. Martha’s plight came to light last Friday at Nabirumba Health Centre III, where Plan, an NGO, organised a function to mark the World Tuberculosis Day. the Kamuli district information officer, Joseph Ngobi, said. Ngobi said Martha’s life was in danger because the grandfather, Nasani Musengawe, was too poor to provide a balanced diet or food supplements for the girl, let alone for him. “She is sickly because of poor feeding. A person on ARVs needs to eat foods that are rich in proteins and carbohydrates,” Ngobi added. “I have lost hope. Much as I get the drugs, I should have a balanced diet, which my grandfather cannot afford,” Martha said.
She said she loves matooke, rice, meat, chicken and milk but nobody can offer her such food. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630207-girl-walks-12km-for-arvs.html

Womens height linked to ovarian cancer Newvision Monday April 9th 2012

Taller women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a review of studies. Obesity is also a risk factor among women who have never taken HRT, say international researchers. Previous studies have suggested a link, but there has been conflicting evidence.
The latest research, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, analysed all worldwide data on the topic. It looked at 47 epidemiological studies in 14 countries, including about 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and more than 80,000 women without ovarian cancer.
Lead researcher Prof Valerie Beral of the Oxford University Epidemiology Unit told the BBC: "By bringing together the worldwide evidence, it became clear that height is a risk factor." She said there was also a clear relationship between obesity and ovarian cancer in women who had never taken HRT."Ovarian cancer can clearly be added to the list [of cancers linked to obesity]," she added. Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said the study produced a clearer picture of the factors that could affect a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, and found that body size was important. "Women can reduce their risk of this and many other diseases by keeping to a healthy weight," she said. "For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active." Commenting on the study, Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the increase in risk was small. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630206-women-s-height-linked-to-ovarian-cancer.html

Hungarian IPU institute donate to Cancer Foundation, New vision Wednesday April 04 2012, by Violet Nabatanzi

Uganda Child Cancer Foundation has received 2,000 euros (about sh6.8m) from Hungarian delegation to the ongoing IPU assembly taking place in Kampala. The delegation led by Ambassador Sandor Juhasz handed over the funds to Dr. Jackson Orem; the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Juhasz said that they want to make the life of suffering children get better. "Uganda is far from Hungary but such humane action will bring us very close to each other," Juhasz said.
Orem assured the delegates that he will make sure that the donated fund goes directly to children affected with cancer. "As a foundation we have managed to achieve many instrumental achievements, as I speak now we have some children that managed to overcome the disease through the support of the clinical team from UCI, but we followed them back and we see them going back to school normally," Orem said.  The medical officer UCI, Nixon Niyonzima said the commonest type of cancer in children is Burkitt's lymphoma and on average the institute admits 15 children per month.
"Some of the challenges we are faced with is that the fact that the patients come when it is too late, sometimes they go to traditional healers first and wait until the condition gets worse," Niyonzima said.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630094-hungarian-ipu-delegates-donate-to-cancer-foundation.html

Sh43.9b lies idle as ARV shortage bites Newvision Monday April 9th 2012 by Canon Businge

While people living with HIV were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS medicines. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010. Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the Program Coordinator’s salary leaving unutilised balance of sh43.9b. This, the AG says, reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilisation of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report recommends that the management of the health ministry “should follow up the matter to ensure that there is timely release of the project funds to enable implementation of all agreed activities.” In response to the audit report, the Ministry of Health explained that they had addressed the problem by appointing the National Medical Stores as the procurement agent for pharmaceuticals and health supplies for the public sector. This move was designed to improve funds absorption since most of the money is meant for buying pharmaceuticals and health supplies. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630187-sh43-9b-lies-idle-as-arv-shortage-bites.html

 

Tuberculosis on the rise in prisons New vision Thursday April 5th 2012 by Petride Mudoola

The medical superintendent at Murchison Bay Hospital Luzira Prisons has advised Government to invest in the management of tuberculosis (TB) in prisons so as to eradicate the disease. Dr Joseph Andama Oluka says TB prevalence in detention facilities is two to five times much higher than the one in the national average, which requires immediate intervention. "Despite the high TB prevalence rate in prisons, interventions to reduce the disease are still minimal.” According to the Prisons medical service, TB prevalence in prisons stands at 10% compared to the 6.4% national prevalence rate. Currently more than 70 prisoners are on TB treatment. Oluka cites congestion in the detention facilities as part of the problem. “The determinacy of infectious diseases like tuberculosis is very prevalent in prisons due to congestion and given the fact that majority of the prisoners are poor and come from disease trodden areas.” Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Uganda with an annual incidence of 330 cases of all forms and 136 new smear positive cases per 100,000 people per year according to reports from World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Global Report released in 2010 ranked Uganda 16th among the 22 TB high burden countries and the expected case load per year is 102,000 people. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630110-tuberculosis-on-the-rise-in-prisons.html

 

 

Govt to provide free food to nodding children, says Mbabazi Newvision  Thursday April 5th 2012 by Francis Kagolo

The Government is to supply free food to children in northern Uganda particularly areas worst hit by nodding disease as one of the measures to curb the epidemic Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has announced. He also declared mass treatment of river blindness in the entire region as the country awaits health experts to discover the cause and best treatment for nodding disease. The area is river blindness endemic. “We are going to supply  food because one of the problems in the area is  lack of  food and  basic vitamins among children. We have so far set up three treatment centres. We want to increase them to at least 10 so that all children can be observed, given food and drugs.”” Mbabazi said. “He revealed this on Wednesday during a meeting with a group of visiting US senators and representatives who came to Uganda courtesy of CARE, a global charity organization working in northern Uganda. The meeting took place at this office in Kampala. The delegation, led by Helene Gayle, the chief executive of CARE USA, and Johnny Isakson, senator of Georgia, wanted to know efforts the Government was undertaking to develop the war-torn northern Uganda.
Mbabazi said, save for nodding disease which was posing new challenges, the region was on the right track to total recovery and development, thanks to the Peace Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP). Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630127-govt-to-provide-free-food-to-nodding-children-says-mbabazi.html

 

Tachoma hits 6,000 in Moroto Newvision Wednesday April 04th 2012 by O.Wanyama

Over 6,000 people have been treated for eye complications at Moroto Hospital over the last three months. The officer in charge of the hospital’s eye clinic, Sister Emily Akullu, said most of the patient’s rare suffering from trachoma that has hit the districts of Napak and Moroto. Trachoma is caused by bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. The disease presents with swollen itchy eyes and a yellow discharge from the eyes. The signs of trachoma are usually noticed five to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria.It spreads through poor hygiene and sharing face towels. Akullu told New Vision on Saturday that between 30 to 50 patients are diagnosed with trachoma every day. She said many people suffer from cataracts and other defects that can be managed if treatment starts early. Akullu cautioned residents on the dangers of delayed treatment of trachoma, saying it could cause blindness. She said trachoma can be prevented by improving sanitation, especially among children who are at high at risk of contracting the disease. Akullu said the district health department is using village health teams to sensitise the communities on sanitation and the importance of seeking treatment early. The World Health Organisation says about six million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million others are in dire need of treatment. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630091-tachoma-hits-6-000-in-moroto.html

 

 

Moyo health workers take on tropical diseases New vision Tuesday April 03rd2012  by  Andrew Amvesi
The health officials and community leaders in Moyo district have laid strategies to carry out massive campaigns on neglected tropical disease which have affected the local communities in the rural areas.  The move is aimed at fighting neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, trachoma, elephantiasis and Bilharzias that have affected most communities especially along river banks and near forested areas.  During a sensitization and advocacy meeting that was held at Moyo district headquarters on Friday, the Vector control officer, Nicholas Onwong, said most people in rural areas are at a higher risk of contracting the diseases due to the nature of their settlement. “Majority of us opted to settle along river banks and in forested areas for reasons of easy cultivation without knowing that parasites which transmit tropical neglected diseases also live with us,” Onwong asserted. He urged such community members to visit health units and community based medicine distributors for drugs in an effort to fight tropical neglected diseases in the district.  Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630077-moyo-health-workers-take-on-tropical-diseases.html


American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid Newvision Tuesday April 2nd 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. Clarke said her organisation was committed to working in partnership with Manafwa district authorities in up-grading Bugobero health centre to a district hospital.“The equipment donation is part of a comprehensive health sector development plan that covers mother, infant and young child nutrition and malnutrition management, health sector human resource development and maternal health under a public-private partnership,” Clarke said. Clarke said KHI joined hands with Manafwa district in March 2011 to provide supply chain management assistance through donation of drugs and supplies and identified nurses and clinical officers, who were passionate about patient care and provided them with a monetary incentive for their hard work and commitment to patient care at Bugobero health centre. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-american-charity-equips-manafwa-with-medical-aid.html


ARVs shortage soars as sh43.9b lies idle, New vision Sunday April 8th 2012 by Conan Businge
While people living with HIV/AIDS were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers, findings of an audit report have revealed. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS drugs. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010.Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the program coordinator’s salary, leaving an unutilized balance of sh43.9b. The AG, Peter Nyombi says this reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilization of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report calls for positive action as regards the findings. Read more athttp://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630169-arvs-shortage-soars-as-sh43-9b-lies-idle.html

 

Girl walks 12km for ARVs Newvision Tuesday April 10th 2012 by Tom Gwebayanga

For the last five months, 17-year-old Martha (not real name) has been a common sight on the Nabirumba-Kamuli road on her way to pick antiretro- viral (ARV) drugs from Kamuli Hospital. Her monthly trek began in December last year after her father, a resident of Nabwigulu sub-county, kicked her out of his home, saying he would not waste his resources on an HIV/ AIDS patient. Left with no choice, Martha left to live with grandfather, 9km farther away from the nearest health facility. This meant that despite her precarious health, she had to walk 12km to pick ARVs. Martha’s plight came to light last Friday at Nabirumba Health Centre III, where Plan, an NGO, organised a function to mark the World Tuberculosis Day. the Kamuli district information officer, Joseph Ngobi, said. Ngobi said Martha’s life was in danger because the grandfather, Nasani Musengawe, was too poor to provide a balanced diet or food supplements for the girl, let alone for him. “She is sickly because of poor feeding. A person on ARVs needs to eat foods that are rich in proteins and carbohydrates,” Ngobi added. “I have lost hope. Much as I get the drugs, I should have a balanced diet, which my grandfather cannot afford,” Martha said.
She said she loves matooke, rice, meat, chicken and milk but nobody can offer her such food. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630207-girl-walks-12km-for-arvs.html

Womens height linked to ovarian cancer New vision Monday April 9th 2012

Taller women have a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a review of studies. Obesity is also a risk factor among women who have never taken HRT, say international researchers. Previous studies have suggested a link, but there has been conflicting evidence.
The latest research, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, analysed all worldwide data on the topic. It looked at 47 epidemiological studies in 14 countries, including about 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and more than 80,000 women without ovarian cancer.
Lead researcher Prof Valerie Beral of the Oxford University Epidemiology Unit told the BBC: "By bringing together the worldwide evidence, it became clear that height is a risk factor." She said there was also a clear relationship between obesity and ovarian cancer in women who had never taken HRT."Ovarian cancer can clearly be added to the list [of cancers linked to obesity]," she added. Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said the study produced a clearer picture of the factors that could affect a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, and found that body size was important. "Women can reduce their risk of this and many other diseases by keeping to a healthy weight," she said. "For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active." Commenting on the study, Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the increase in risk was small. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630206-women-s-height-linked-to-ovarian-cancer.html

Hungarian IPU institute donate to Cancer Foundation, Newvision Wednesday April 04 2012, by Violet Nabatanzi

Uganda Child Cancer Foundation has received 2,000 euros (about sh6.8m) from Hungarian delegation to the ongoing IPU assembly taking place in Kampala. The delegation led by Ambassador Sandor Juhasz handed over the funds to Dr. Jackson Orem; the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). Juhasz said that they want to make the life of suffering children get better. "Uganda is far from Hungary but such humane action will bring us very close to each other," Juhasz said.
Orem assured the delegates that he will make sure that the donated fund goes directly to children affected with cancer. "As a foundation we have managed to achieve many instrumental achievements, as I speak now we have some children that managed to overcome the disease through the support of the clinical team from UCI, but we followed them back and we see them going back to school normally," Orem said.  The medical officer UCI, Nixon Niyonzima said the commonest type of cancer in children is Burkitt's lymphoma and on average the institute admits 15 children per month.
"Some of the challenges we are faced with is that the fact that the patients come when it is too late, sometimes they go to traditional healers first and wait until the condition gets worse," Niyonzima said.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630094-hungarian-ipu-delegates-donate-to-cancer-foundation.html

Sh43.9b lies idle as ARV shortage bites Newvision Monday April 9th 2012 by Canon Businge

While people living with HIV were grappling with shortage of anti-retroviral drugs last year, over sh43.9b meant for buying the drugs was lying idle in the government coffers. According to the latest Auditor General’s report released last week, the health ministry had received $24m (about 51.8b) from Global Fund to procure HIV/AIDS medicines. This, according to the report covering the period ending June 2011, was received in two disbursements of $4.2m (about sh8b) in November 2009 and $19.9m (about sh43b) in June 2010. Out of this amount, only sh7.9b (about 15.4%) was spent on procurement of ARVs and paying the Program Coordinator’s salary leaving unutilised balance of sh43.9b. This, the AG says, reflects low absorption capacity of the project funds, which makes the attainment of the intended objectives within the stated time impossible. However, the report adds that non-utilisation of the funds could be due to the delay in the release of the funds from the donors. The report recommends that the management of the health ministry “should follow up the matter to ensure that there is timely release of the project funds to enable implementation of all agreed activities.” In response to the audit report, the Ministry of Health explained that they had addressed the problem by appointing the National Medical Stores as the procurement agent for pharmaceuticals and health supplies for the public sector. This move was designed to improve funds absorption since most of the money is meant for buying pharmaceuticals and health supplies. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630187-sh43-9b-lies-idle-as-arv-shortage-bites.html

 

 

Tuberculosis on the rise in prisons New vision Thursday April 5th 2012 by Petride Mudoola

The medical superintendent at Murchison Bay Hospital Luzira Prisons has advised Government to invest in the management of tuberculosis (TB) in prisons so as to eradicate the disease. Dr Joseph Andama Oluka says TB prevalence in detention facilities is two to five times much higher than the one in the national average, which requires immediate intervention. "Despite the high TB prevalence rate in prisons, interventions to reduce the disease are still minimal.” According to the Prisons medical service, TB prevalence in prisons stands at 10% compared to the 6.4% national prevalence rate. Currently more than 70 prisoners are on TB treatment. Oluka cites congestion in the detention facilities as part of the problem. “The determinacy of infectious diseases like tuberculosis is very prevalent in prisons due to congestion and given the fact that majority of the prisoners are poor and come from disease trodden areas.” Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in Uganda with an annual incidence of 330 cases of all forms and 136 new smear positive cases per 100,000 people per year according to reports from World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO Global Report released in 2010 ranked Uganda 16th among the 22 TB high burden countries and the expected case load per year is 102,000 people. Read more at:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630110-tuberculosis-on-the-rise-in-prisons.html

 

Govt to provide free food to nodding children, says Mbabazi Newvision  Thursday April 5th 2012 by Francis Kagolo

The Government is to supply free food to children in northern Uganda particularly areas worst hit by nodding disease as one of the measures to curb the epidemic Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has announced. He also declared mass treatment of river blindness in the entire region as the country awaits health experts to discover the cause and best treatment for nodding disease. The area is river blindness endemic. “We are going to supply  food because one of the problems in the area is  lack of  food and  basic vitamins among children. We have so far set up three treatment centres. We want to increase them to at least 10 so that all children can be observed, given food and drugs.”” Mbabazi said. “He revealed this on Wednesday during a meeting with a group of visiting US senators and representatives who came to Uganda courtesy of CARE, a global charity organization working in northern Uganda. The meeting took place at this office in Kampala. The delegation, led by Helene Gayle, the chief executive of CARE USA, and Johnny Isakson, senator of Georgia, wanted to know efforts the Government was undertaking to develop the war-torn northern Uganda.
Mbabazi said, save for nodding disease which was posing new challenges, the region was on the right track to total recovery and development, thanks to the Peace Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP). Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630127-govt-to-provide-free-food-to-nodding-children-says-mbabazi.html

Tachoma hits 6,000 in Moroto Newvision Wednesday April 04th 2012 by O.Wanyama

Over 6,000 people have been treated for eye complications at Moroto Hospital over the last three months. The officer in charge of the hospital’s eye clinic, Sister Emily Akullu, said most of the patient’s rare suffering from trachoma that has hit the districts of Napak and Moroto. Trachoma is caused by bacteria known as chlamydia trachomatis. The disease presents with swollen itchy eyes and a yellow discharge from the eyes. The signs of trachoma are usually noticed five to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria.It spreads through poor hygiene and sharing face towels. Akullu told New Vision on Saturday that between 30 to 50 patients are diagnosed with trachoma every day. She said many people suffer from cataracts and other defects that can be managed if treatment starts early. Akullu cautioned residents on the dangers of delayed treatment of trachoma, saying it could cause blindness. She said trachoma can be prevented by improving sanitation, especially among children who are at high at risk of contracting the disease. Akullu said the district health department is using village health teams to sensitise the communities on sanitation and the importance of seeking treatment early. The World Health Organisation says about six million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million others are in dire need of treatment. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630091-tachoma-hits-6-000-in-moroto.html

 

Moyo health workers take on tropical diseases Newvision Tuesday April 03rd 2012 by  Andrew Amvesi
The health officials and community leaders in Moyo district have laid strategies to carry out massive campaigns on neglected tropical disease which have affected the local communities in the rural areas.  The move is aimed at fighting neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness, trachoma, elephantiasis and Bilharzias that have affected most communities especially along river banks and near forested areas.  During a sensitization and advocacy meeting that was held at Moyo district headquarters on Friday, the Vector control officer, Nicholas Onwong, said most people in rural areas are at a higher risk of contracting the diseases due to the nature of their settlement. “Majority of us opted to settle along river banks and in forested areas for reasons of easy cultivation without knowing that parasites which transmit tropical neglected diseases also live with us,” Onwong asserted. He urged such community members to visit health units and community based medicine distributors for drugs in an effort to fight tropical neglected diseases in the district.  Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630077-moyo-health-workers-take-on-tropical-diseases.html


American charity equips Manafwa with medical aid Newvision Tuesday April 2nd 2012 by Joseph Wanzusi

Healthcare services in Manafwa district are expected to improve after the district received an assortment of medical supplies worth US $500,000 (about sh1.26b) from Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) an American charity organisation. Handing over the equipment that included a state-of-the-art neonatal incubator, the Kissito USA project manager Clarissa Clarke said the donation is to enhance health care services at Bugobero Health Centre IV and cut down on referral cases from the district. Clarke said her organisation was committed to working in partnership with Manafwa district authorities in up-grading Bugobero health centre to a district hospital.“The equipment donation is part of a comprehensive health sector development plan that covers mother, infant and young child nutrition and malnutrition management, health sector human resource development and maternal health under a public-private partnership,” Clarke said. Clarke said KHI joined hands with Manafwa district in March 2011 to provide supply chain management assistance through donation of drugs and supplies and identified nurses and clinical officers, who were passionate about patient care and provided them with a monetary incentive for their hard work and commitment to patient care at Bugobero health centre. Read more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/630042-american-charity-equips-manafwa-with-medical-aid.html