Kenya, Uganda launch synchronized mass trachoma treatment

KENYA – The fight against blindness-causing trachoma has received a boost following the launch of a cross-border mass drug administration exercise by Kenya and Uganda. The exercise, which was launched at Alakas Primary School in Amudat district of Uganda, seeks to synchronize drug administration among the residents of West Pokot and Turkana Counties with neighboring Uganda in an effort to fully eradicate the disease which is caused by bacteria that attack the inner surfaces of the eyelids. Speaking during the launch of the exercise, Ugandan State Minister for Karamoja affairs…

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GE Healthcare unveils one of a kind Health Services Center in Uganda

UGANDA – GE Healthcare and medical group AFRIPHARMA have officially inaugurated the Afri-Egypt Health Services Center, a first of its kind in Uganda with lifesaving equipment from GE Healthcare. The Center is located in Jinja and is expected to serve to over 60,000 people from the region, allowing for improved accessibility in the surrounding communities. The facility is equipped with GE equipment including CT Scan Machine, Digital Mammography, X-ray, BMD, Ultrasound, and Life Care solutions. This technology is used in the diagnosis and treatment of various critical diseases, including in…

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Zika virus alert in India as woman tests positive

INDIA – The World Health Organization has released a press statement warning of Zika virus outbreak in India after a 24-year old pregnant tested positive for the virus in Kerala state, south-west India. According to the WHO’s health officials, this is the first Zika case confirmed in Kerala. The infection was confirmed in a laboratory using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing in the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune. A pregnant 24-year-old woman was found to be infected with the mosquito-borne disease and was being treated at a…

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UK government bolsters Covid-19 response in Uganda with over 700K liters of oxygen

UGANDA – The UK has officially handed over 100 oxygen cylinders to Uganda’s National Medical Stores, to provide lifesaving treatment to COVID-19 patients in Uganda. This support is part of the £500,000 (over US$708,000) that the UK committed to UNICEF Uganda’s COVID-19 appeal in July 2021. The money, which was provided to rapidly increase Uganda’s oxygen delivery capacity and build its production capability, will go towards the procurement of one hundred 7,500-litre oxygen cylinders for hospitals in the country and the provision of operational support to 4 oxygen plants for…

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Uganda battles rising cases of Dementia despite heavy funding constraints

UGANDA – A prevalence study conducted in Uganda ha shown that one in five people in Uganda aged 60 and above, has Alzheimer’s disease or related forms of dementia, raising alarm in the country. The findings of this study support World Health Organisation’s latest data, which shows that two-thirds of people with dementia worldwide live in low and middle-income countries. Alzheimer’s is a disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die, slowly destroying memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out activities of…

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GA Insurance introduces health cover for Uganda’s elderly population

UGANDA – Leading insurance firm, GA insurance Uganda, a wholly owned subsidiary of GA Insurance Limited, which is headquartered in Kenya, has unveiled a new medical cover for senior citizens up to 80 years. Its Managing Director, Francis Kamau said the health policy dubbed Graysure, will help ease pressure for persons attaining 50 years or on retirement and remains renewable up to the age of 80. “This is an inpatient medical insurance product that covers the principal member and eligible dependents,” he said, adding that the outpatient benefits option is…

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Ugandan Health Ministry to begin administering HPV vaccine to 5-year-olds

UGANDA – The Uganda Ministry of Health is planning to reduce the age at which girls can receive the human papilloma vaccine which protects against cervical cancer. At the moment, the vaccine is given to girls aged nine years and older. However, the health ministry wants to start giving the vaccine to five-year-olds as part of a new plan that is aimed at increasing the uptake of the second jab of HPV vaccine. Two jabs administered six months apart are what is needed to be fully vaccinated against cervical cancer.…

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Uganda launches national guidelines for integrated diseases surveillance and response

UGANDA – Uganda has launched the Third Edition of the National Guidelines for Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response (IDSR). The edition highlights new methods of disease detection, reporting, and provision of real-time surveillance data using new technologies and platforms. The platforms include event-based disease surveillance, community-based surveillance, one health approach, cross-border surveillance, and electronic IDSR to improve disease surveillance in Uganda at all levels. State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties, Anifa Bangirana Kawooya said, “We are working in tricky times when a disease in one country can…

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East Africa sees telehealth boom amid Covid-19 pandemic

AFRICA – The pandemic has accelerated the pace of technological advances in health care, from video consultations to artificial intelligence-powered triage, and medically underserved East Africa is catching on fast. With some of the worst doctor-patient ratios in the world, Africa is proving fertile ground for telehealth providers. Babyl, the Rwandan arm of UK-based Babylon Healthcare Services, said daily consultations went from about 3,000 in March 2020 to more than 5,000 now. Rocket Health, a Ugandan provider, saw a 500 per cent increase in phone and video consultations in the…

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Uganda improves cancer health care as it battles an increased disease burden

UGANDA – Uganda has announced it is continuing to decentralize cancer health care in the country as cases are on the increase. The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in a statement said there is an increasing burden of cancer. “It is estimated that for every 100 new cases diagnosed, 80 of them die majorly because they come to our health facilities late,” the statement said, adding that this is mainly due to lack of access to cancer services within close proximity of the population. UCI figures show that annually, over 7,000…

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