‘Government spends Shs260b on dirty people’

Thursday April 11, 2019

Government is spending Shs261 billion annually on treating diseases of poor sanitation, a scenario that should change, a minister said.

Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State Minister of Health-in-charge of Primary Health, wondered “why in this day and age, people still get cholera, dysentery or typhoid” and make government waste such resources which would have been diverted to needing sectors of the economy.

“These are preventable diseases. You only need to stay in a clean environment, have a toilet or latrine and eat food from clean places and you will never get them,” Dr Kaducu said yesterday.

“Even malaria, why should you not sleep in a mosquito net? We need to change our attitude,” she added.
Dr Kaducu made the remarks at the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) conference in Kampala, hosted by Makerere University Environmental Health Students Association.

The conference will run for three days.
Prof William Bazeyo, the Makerere University deputy vice chancellor for Finance and Administration, decried the current state of environment degradation, which he said correlates with the poor quality of lives, Ugandans are living.

The looming famine brought about by prolonged drought, Prof Bazeyo said, should act as a wake-up call to Ugandans and policy makers.

He also said government should intervene and make it difficult for Ugandans to access antibiotics mainly used for self-medication, which has resulted in resistance to diseases.

“If you walk out, you can access antibiotics anywhere as long as you say the right name [of the antibiotics],” Prof Bazeyo said.

Dr Rhoda Wanyenze, the Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health, appealed to the government to establish a laboratory that will help scientists

“detect pollutants that cannot be seen with bare eyes.”
“We should focus on preventive medicine than curative,” Dr Wanyenze said.