Residents demand free testing services


SEMBABULE. Residents in Sembabule District have raised concern over lack of brucellosis testing services in public health centres despite the high prevalence of the disease in the district.
Statistics from the district health department indicate that 1,236 cases of brucellosis have been recorded between July 2017 and April this year.

Brucellosis is one of the most common zoonotic infections, transmitted to humans through consumption of unpasteurized dairy products or through direct contact with infected animals.
Mr Joseph Byamugisha, a resident in Kabukongote Village, said the services are only available in private health facilities which charge exorbitant fees.

“We need to have such services in our public health centres and cut on the cost as well as scaling up on testing because many people fail to go for testing and take wrong medication from clinics,” Mr Byamugisha said in an interview on Saturday.
Daily Monitor has established that private clinics charge between Shs10,000 and Shs15,000 for testing brucellosis.

No reagents
But Dr Charles Matovu, the Sembabule District health officer, said they do not get reagents to test brucellosis due to the existing health policy.
“Although the Uganda Clinical Guidelines for management of common conditions, includes management of infections like brucellosis, it doesn’t provide testing neither treatment of brucellosis in our health centres,” Dr Matovu said in a telephone interview.
He recommended that the Health Ministry considers offering such services in cattle corridor districts.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the ministry’s senior public relations officer, in a phone interview said the ministry welcomes the proposal and it shall be discussed by the policy makers.

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