Current Affairs

Understanding the Red Eye Disease as KCCA confirms outbreak in Kampala schools

An image of a red eye with conjunctivitis Image: Photo/Courtesy

Kampala, (UG):- The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on Wednesday confirmed the outbreak of ed eye disease (conjunctivitis) in Kampala Schools amid a rallying for vigilance among parents and school officials.

Also known as “bloodshot eyes,” Red Eye Disease is the inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and eyeball. Typical symptoms include redness and a gritty sensation in your eye, along with itching. Often a discharge forms a crust on your eyelashes during the night.

KCCA in a letter dated March 13, addressed to all head teachers and principals, government and private education institutions in Kampala metropolitan explained that following recent lab tests carried out, the Director of Public Health and Environment, confirmed the outbreak of the disease, in mostly schools within the city centre.

“We have been alerted by the director of public health and environment to an outbreak of conjunctivitis (red eye disease) in Kampala. Cases have already been reported in some of our schools and education institutions,” the letter signed by KCCA’s acting Director for Education and Social Services, Mr Maginot Charles Bonnie reads in part.

In the aftermath of the outbreak, the authority has now directed schools to implement safety measures such as ensuring students wash their hands with water and soap, avoid touching and rubbing their eyes, avoid shaking hands, ensure all visitors are screened, and have all cases reported to the nearest health facilities.

“In the interim, you are accordingly guided by our health teams to re-activate the existing infection prevention measures in schools such as frequent handwashing with water and soap, avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.”

Mr Maginot further advises school heads to report suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call our toll-free line, 0800299000.

“The Director of Public Health and Environment will in due course, issue comprehensive guidelines on the management of this outbreak,” he says.

About Red Eye Disease

Red eye disease (conjunctivitis) is an infection caused by a virus. It is contagious but usually clears up within a week without medical treatment. The redness, according to health experts, happens when tiny blood vessels under your eye’s surface get larger or become inflamed. Usually, it’s a reaction to something irritating your eye.

The severity of the redness can affect one or both eyes and can develop over time or appear suddenly, such as with allergies or an eye injury.

Red Eye Symptoms

- Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading. -

You can have red eyes and other symptoms, like; eye pain, itching, eye discharge, swollen eyes, and changes in vision, like blurred vision, among others.

Often, a red eye looks worse than it feels. Many cases of eye redness are relatively harmless and usually improve with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.

What causes a red eye?

Red eyes have many different causes. Sometimes, your eyes get red when you’ve worn your contact lenses too long or if you’ve been staring at your computer screen for too long without a break. Some other common causes include; allergies, blepharitis, dry eye, eye injury, and perhaps glaucoma.

Treatments for red eye

Remedies for red eye are wide-ranging, and often they’re things you can do at home for yourself.
Many times, the following steps can relieve symptoms;

  • Rest well enough
  • Cool compresses over closed eyes.
  • Lightly massaging your eyelids.
  • Gently washing your eyelids.
  • Over-the-counter eye drops.

Other times, an eye care specialist may recommend and prescribe antibiotics, special eye drops or ointments.

- Advertisement. -

Home remedy and how to prevent

To treat conjunctivitis yourself, UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends that you boil water and let it cool down before you gently wipe your eyelashes to clean off crusts with a clean cotton wool pad; one piece for each eye.

You are then supposed to hold a cold flannel on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down.

You are also advised to wash your hands regularly with warm soapy water, wash your pillowcases and face cloths in hot water and detergent cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and put used tissues in the bin to avoid spreading conjunctivitis to other people.

You are further advised to speak to a healthcare professional especially if the case involves a child less than two years.

Do you have a story or an opinion to share? Email us on: Or follow the Daily Express on or for the latest updates.


Daily Express is Uganda's number one source for breaking news, National news, policy analytical stories, e-buzz, sports, and general news.

We resent fake stories in all our published stories, and are driven by our tagline of being Accurate, Fast & Reliable.

Copyright © 2024 Daily Express Uganda. A Subsidiary of Rabiu Express Media Group Ltd.

To Top
Translate »