By Yosam Gucwaki
Seven people have died and the same number evacuated to Masindi
General Hospital following suspected meningitis outbreak in Pakanyi
sub-county, Masindi District.
This was revealed yesterday evening by the District Health Officer, Dr.
John Turyagaruka while talking to our reporter at his office. Dr.
Turyagaruka added that the deaths have taken place in Kyatiri,
Kitanyata and Bombo villages since 4th this month.
The medic revealed that although the patients and the deceased have
had signs similar to those of meningitis, health experts in the
district are yet to confirm the deadly disease as being the cause
due to the limited investigative capacity including lack of required
apparatus to transport patients’ blood samples to the central public
health laboratory for tests.
However, he said the experts have been able to establish an
epidemiological link between the deaths and the patients either by
paying visits or attending burials.
However, the Dr. added that although the patients who were evacuated
to Masindi hospital are responding to treatment, the district has
teamed up with the central public health laboratory to establish the
cause of the ailment.
He said all new patients with similar signs and symptoms have to be
taken to Masindi hospital immediately in order to ease investigations
on the disease outbreak.
Dr. Turyagaruka continued that although the cause of the illness and
deaths has not yet been established, health experts have not ruled out
meningitis since it is always more prevalent during the dry season in
the African meningitis belt which runs from Senegal to East Africa,
He appealed to community members to rush patients with fever, stiff
neck, vomiting, headache and confusion among other signs and symptom to public health units which will also refer them to Masindi General Hospital for further medical management in case the health workers suspect the disease.
He warned that meningitis is highly fatal and can cause disabilities
SOURCE: www.mknewslink.com, a greater western Uganda news website.