Uganda: KCCA Issues Red Eye Disease Alert for Schools in Kampala

eye drops
14 March 2024

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has warned all headteachers and principals of both government and private education institutions in Kampala regarding an outbreak of conjunctivitis, commonly known as red eye disease.

The alert was issued by Charles Bonnie Maginot, the acting director of education and social services at KCCA, following reports of confirmed cases in several schools and educational facilities within the city.

"We have been alerted by the Director Public Health and Environment of an outbreak of Conjunctivitis (red eye disease) in Kampala," Maginot said.

"Cases have already been reported in some of our schools and education institutions."

Conjunctivitis happens when the membrane covering the insides of your eyelids and the white part of your eye, called the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed.

Inflammation of the conjunctiva causes the whites of your eyes to appear pink or red in colour.

The most common pink eye symptoms include redness in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes, a gritty feeling, and discharge in one or both eyes that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning.

Affected persons may also experience tearing, sensitivity to light.

In response to the outbreak, KCCA's health teams have advised schools to reinforce existing infection prevention measures.

"In the interim, you are accordingly guided by our Health teams to re-activate the existing infection prevention measures in schools," stated Maginot.

These measures include frequent handwashing with water and soap, avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes, refraining from shaking hands and maintaining close contact, as well as screening visitors entering the schools and institutions.

Maginot further emphasised the importance of vigilance and prompt action, urging school authorities to report suspected cases to the nearest health facility or contact KCCA's toll-free line.

"It is crucial for schools to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing this outbreak," he added.

Maginot also assured that comprehensive guidelines on the management of the outbreak would be issued by the Director Public Health and Environment in due course.

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