The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of cholera of cholera in Uganda's biggest refugee camp in Kyangwali. According to a statement, 668 cholera cases had been identified in the camp by Feb.22 whereby 26 died. The disease is believed to have been spread by migrating refugees from Congo who picked the disease from their place of origin.
Dr. Julius Kasozi a Public Health Official working with the UNHCR confirmed that some of the patients crossing into Uganda over Lake Albert by boat present symptoms like diarrhea and severe dehydration on arrival.
"It is possible that bacteria is spread through disease carriers who do not present symptoms, or through unhygienic practices like open defecation and drinking unsafe water from the lake," he said.
However, in addition to those confirmed in Kyangwali, another patient tested for positive for cholera in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement in Western Uganda. To curb the situation, the ministry deployed a Rapid Response Team of 10 cholera control specialists and medical supplies where some are stationed at the lakeshore whereas some are at reception areas in the different settlement camps.
In addition, UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister are relocating new arrivals from Kisoro, Mitondo and Sebagoro to Kyangwali and Kyaka II Refugee Settlements in Mid-West Uganda.
This year more than 42,000 people have crossed Lake Albert, bringing the total number of Congolese refugees in Uganda to over 251,000.