The Namutumba District Health Officer, James Kiirya, has said that the disease outbreak, which has since claimed the lives of children has been confirmed to be severe malaria.
According to the parents, the children vomit blood, urinate blood-like substances, their bodies turn yellowish and collapse dead, despite efforts of availing them with antimalarial treatment.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Kiirya says that, they extracted 56 samples from children in the sub-counties of Mazuba and Bulange respectively, which had reported the highest number of fatal cases, but all of them tested positive for severe malaria.
Kiirya says that the district has registered an upsurge in malaria cases for the past two months, however, parents and other caregivers have been reluctant to observe the preventive measures. This has left children with seemingly weak body immunities, to be internally drained by malaria-related complications.
He argues that, a team of health workers who were dispatched to investigate the cause of death within affected communities observed that, most of the children never visited any health facility while some sought medical redress when malaria was already in its’ severe stages.
Kiirya further says that they are also facing a challenge of blood scarcity, which has lasted for the past two months, making it hard for health workers to treat severely anemic children, most of whom die while being referred to hospitals in the neighboring districts.
Kiirya adds that they are liaising with officials from national medical stores-NMS, to ensure that a special consignment of antimalarial drugs is allocated to Namutumba district to manage malaria cases in their infant stages.
David Mukisa, the LCV Chairperson of Namutumba district, has expressed worry over the government’s delayed intervention to contain the disease. He explains that the cases were first reported in September last year, but the response from the authorities has been slow.