Ministry of Health calls for amendment of Public Health Law – Watchdog Uganda

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine Kanzira has said government must amend the Public Health Law because the current one is without bite.

Dr. Atwine made the revelation on Thursday during a media breakfast in Kampala, adding that a lot of food sold on the streets of Uganda’s has played a great role in causing diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid among others.

“We need to review this Public Health Act, because it’s toothless since it’s too old and many things have changed. There is a lot of food sold on the streets and as a ministry, we know the impact of this. Many people eat diseases instead of food and we do spend a lot on treating these diseases which can be prevented in a single move by amending this law,” said Dr Atwine.

Last month, Kampala suburbs including Kireka, Ndeeba, Mutungo and Kaboowa faced Cholera out breaks which claimed the lives of two people in Kabowa. Seven suspected patients were hospitalized.

According to the assessment report which was done last month by a team from ministry of health led by State Minister for- Primary Health Care Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, all areas that suffered this outbreak had few latrines and the local authorities were not able to arrest homes without latrines, eatables were sold on the banks of sewage tranches.

However, Dr. Atwine said such areas will only be cleaned through this law, but weaker as it is now, no impact will be made.

“Right now even if we do apply this law, people will not pay any attention to do what it required to implement public hygiene in their homes and at work places,” said Dr Atwine, heaping the blame on people who politicize everything.

“The ministry sets policies and local leaders do implement so this law must also give powers to the local leaders to lawfully punish whoever is doing contrary because we need not spend much money treating disease which can easily prevent without in money,” she added.

Dr. Esther Babireke, a Pediatrician from Mwanamugimu Nutrition unit in Mulago Hospital said that such foods also cause Hepatitis B since most of the attendants are normally sick and don’t cover as it is required.

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