Ministry of Health of Uganda

The Ministry of Health of Uganda recently revealed that 14.6 million people, or 32.4% of the overall population, still engage in the practise of poor sanitation.

This information has caused the ministry to complain loudly regarding the level of hygiene practises that exist in the country.

On Tuesday, local media reported that the practise is still prevalent in both rural and urban regions, and the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Diana Atwine, was cited as stating as much.

"Regardless of government initiatives on the issues of hygiene and sanitation, Uganda keeps going to wrestle with water and sanitation challenges," she said in Kampala.

"With 23 percent and 9.4 percent of people still trying to practise open defecation, including both in rural and urban areas," she said, "Uganda continues to struggle with these challenges."

Concern was also voiced by the minister of health over the continuation of unsafe and unhygienic food preparation methods, including but not limited to the following: selling food from filthy premises; food processing over open drainage lines; and garbage disposal without discrimination.

According to Atwine, just 36% of communities in the nation have access to basic sanitation services, with only 24% of those communities being located in rural regions and 49% of those towns being located in urban areas.

She went on to say that the rate of hand washing in urban regions was 53.8 percent, but in rural areas it was just 35.8 percent.

The most recent information comes only a few days after the National Meteorological Authority of Uganda (UNMA) issued a warning about the possibility of a rise in water-borne illnesses such as bilharzia, malaria, and diarrheal disorders such as cholera and dysentery, among others.

The meteorological service has warned that an increase in illnesses caused by contact with water is to be anticipated as the rainy season gets underway.

On Friday, the news website Nile Post cited George William Omony, director of applied meteorology at UNMA, as saying that "water sources are likely to be polluted due to the high rainfall." 

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