Fears of the outbreak in Kampala were first raised by the Uganda Red Cross Society on Friday on their staff WhatsApp group. In a short message shared on the URCS WhatsApp, Red Cross said it had received alerts through its U-report system of a suspected cholera outbreak in Kampala.
“Most of the suspected cases are coming from Makindye division through Kiruddu hospital,” read the message.
Adding that: “through our CP3 project for epidemic and pandemic disease surveillance, we are coordinating with MOH [ministry of Health] which advises that all suspected cases including confirmed cases once results are out be treated at Naguru hospital.”According to the text, six suspected cholera cases are currently in isolation at Naguru hospital receiving treatment. “Six samples were shipped to Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) for culture and sensitivity,” reads the text.
URCS noted that because of the historical complexity of responding to cholera outbreaks in Kampala, risk communication and some aspects of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) campaign may need to start immediately.
RedCross notes that it has already prepared its Kampala branches to start preparations for response.
Last week government started conducting a campaign to vaccinate at least 360, 000 people against cholera in six hotspot areas of Hoima district.
The cholera outbreak in Hoima was confirmed in February this among the refugees from Democratic Congo and their host communities. The outbreak has claimed more than 40 lives and at least 2,119 suspected and confirmed infections according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).