How Arua is dealing with the latest meningitis outbreak
It’s been weeks since meningitis broke out in Arua district. Residents report that upto 30 cases had been recorded in the local health facilities including Arua Regional Referal hospital and Oli health centre. Patrick Nzia, a clinical officer in Pajulu sub-county, however reassures us that none of the cases have resulted in death.
The West Nile region suffered a severe outbreak of the same disease in 2007 in which 110 people died and nearly 3000 were infected. This time round, residents report that local health workers are responding to this outbreak with vigour. Emmanuel Erima, a resident in Pajulu subcounty says that the victims are being treated by United Nation’s High Commission for Refugee and the Red Cross.Ocea and Rhino camp health centres have also be prepared to respond to the outbreak and a mobile treatment unit has also been set up according to Nzia the clinical officer . Immunisation also is being carried out for those not yet affected.
There’s a resource mobilisation team headed by the RDC(Resident District Commissioner) which is responsible for ensuring that facilities have the resources they need. A technical health team has also been set up. Within the communities, health workers are conducting sensitisation drives in which they are advising people on the methods of prevention which include maintaining high personal hygiene, avoiding contact with the sick and avoiding overcrowding.
Nonetheless, the disease is feared to have spread to other districts including Adjumani and Maracha.