Namutumba School sends students home over red eye disease

Health officials in Namutumba say the school recorded high cases of red eye disease, which has prompted its administration to send the students back home. PHOTO/Courtesy

Namutumba, (UG):- Namutumba Seed Secondary School, a government-aided school nestled in Namutumba District, eastern Uganda, finds itself in the throes of a concerning red eye disease outbreak.

The school administration, in a bid to contain the spread, has made the tough decision to send students back home.

Dr James Kirya, the Namutumba District Health Officer, confirmed the gravity of the situation, highlighting the widespread nature of red eye cases across schools and communities, notably in Magada sub-county.

This has prompted urgent directives to school leaders to mobilize resources for providing essential first aid to affected learners.

The impact of the outbreak is felt deeply within Namutumba Seed Secondary and Namutumba Modern School, situated in Namutumba Town Council.

Mr. Sidi Kiirya, the director of students, emphasized the lack of capacity within the school to manage the growing number of infected students, necessitating their removal from the premises.

As the battle against red eye disease rages on for nearly a week with no signs of abatement, local authorities, represented by Magada LC 3’s Mr. Jafaari Kasalawo, are advocating preventive measures like frequent handwashing.

However, challenges persist as some individuals turn to traditional healers instead of seeking medical assistance.

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According to the Ministry of Health in Uganda, a staggering 7,596 cases of red eye disease have been registered, with a significant portion documented within prison facilities. This alarming statistic underscores the urgency of addressing the outbreak on a national scale.

Government Intervention and Measures

The Ugandan government has responded swiftly to combat the red eye disease epidemic, implementing crucial measures such as;

Public Awareness Campaigns. Launching extensive public health campaigns to educate communities about the symptoms, transmission, and preventive measures against red eye disease.

Collaborative Efforts. Partnering with local authorities, healthcare professionals, and community leaders to coordinate a cohesive response strategy, including surveillance and rapid response teams.

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Access to Medical Care.  Ensuring accessibility to medical care and discouraging reliance on unproven traditional remedies through targeted outreach programs.

The government’s proactive stance and collaborative approach are crucial in mitigating the impact of the red eye disease outbreak, safeguarding public health, and fostering a culture of health awareness and responsiveness in communities across Uganda.

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