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Uganda: Drugs Shortage Fuels Deadly Cholera

AT least three people have died from cholera in western Uganda amid a shortage of medicines.

The outbreak in the landlocked East African country has hit the Kasese district with more than 80 people admitted. Patients are admitted at the Bwera general hospital, some five kilometres from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo where it is feared the disease emanates from.

The Bwera and Nyakiyumbu sub counties are the worst hit. Dr Alphose Gatare, the medical superintendent, lamented the hospital was grappling with supplies of medications.

"We have not yet received cholera drugs from the National Medical Stores," he said. "We have asked NMS to send supplies immediately because it may not be easy for us if more are admitted."

In the absence of supplies from the state-owned NMS, the local hospital is relying on supplies from the Doctors without Borders. Ugandan regions sharing the border with DRC to the west are vulnerable to the water borne disease also known as acute watery diarrhoea.

In the DRC, more than 500 people have succumbed to a cholera outbreak this year. Some 24 000 people have been infected.


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