Parliament has directed the Ministry of Health to investigate reports of a strange disease in Namutumba district that has claimed the lives of children below 12 years.
This followed a matter of national importance raised by Busiki County MP, Paul Akamba in the Thursday plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Anita Among.
Akamba told MPs that specifically Busiki County had been hit by a strange disease attacking children. He said that the victims urinate and cough blood and later become anemic before passing on in a space of one month. According to Akamba, 70 children have so far succumbed to the unknown disease.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information, Communications Technology-ICT and National Guidance said that it was very unfortunate that the disease has claimed the lives of children in a short period.
“Ordinarily, the District Health officer should have gotten in touch with the Ministry of Health and by now a team would have gone on the ground to assess…in my mind I have what we call differential diagnosis, a disease I think could be responsible but I won’t delve into that,” said Baryomunsi in part.
He then asked the Deputy Speaker to allow him to consult the District Health officer- DHO and other political leaders in the district on phone to get more facts and also inquire from the Director-General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health to ascertain whether they have received a report of the strange disease and action taken.
After his consultations, Dr. Baryomunsi told Parliament that phone calls to different political leaders in the district had confirmed the presence of a strange disease killing children. He however said that the District Health Officer- DHO had not yet taken initiative to ascertain facts about the disease or even report to the Ministry of Health.
The Minister further said that other political leaders in the districts including, Namutumba Town Council Mayor, Namutumba Sub-County Chairperson, and the District Chairperson had also confirmed the presence of a strange disease killing children.
Baryomunsi said that the Ministry of Health was going to dispatch its team in Namutumba district.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among directed that action should be taken against the District Health Officer who failed to perform his duty.
Parliament expects a report on the strange disease from the Ministry of Health, on Tuesday next week.