Abim, Uganda | URN | Health authorities in Abim district have confirmed an outbreak of scabies in the district.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin infestation which causes an itchy red rash on the skin. It’s passed from one person to another through direct skin contact and through infested clothing or bedding.
Abim District Health Officer Anthony Okengo says that the skin infestation is rampant across all the sub-counties affecting mostly children and elderly persons. He says currently, all health centres are treating the condition.
Nicholas Ogwang, the district councilor representing Abim sub county said the most affected areas include Abim town council, Awach and Nyakwae sub county. Ogwang said the infestation has badly affected settlement areas like Camkwok and Kamurono settlement camps.
Treatment for scabies usually involves getting rid of the infestation with prescription ointments, creams, and lotions that can be applied directly to the skin sometimes in combination with oral medications.
But Carolyn Ochieng, the district secretary for health and education says that the cream provided at the health centres is not giving the best results and that patients have developed resistance to the treatment provided. She however says that the district leadership has incorporated the outbreak of scabies infestation to the COVID-19 task force activities.
The widespread outbreak of scabies in Abim coincides with the breakdown of an estimated 70 boreholes in the district making efforts to eliminate the infestation through best hygienic practices difficult.
Abim Resident District Commissioner Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka says that the limited clean water access will undermine the efforts to control the infestation through the observance of personal hygiene amongst communities.
Dr Douglas Makanga Kizito of the Public Health Emergencies and Response Division at the Ministry of Health said the issue has been reported to the ministry. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 130 million cases of scabies in the world at any given time.