Experts in Karamoja are warning that the region risks sliding into a complex
emergency situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and looming
famine. According to the experts, the lockdown measures have further
complicated the already difficult situation in the region in relation to access
to basic services.
that previously, access to health services in Moroto, Napak and Amudat
districts among others were difficult because of insecurity and bad roads among
other factors. They note
that the lockdown measures have escalated the already bad situation.
Lemukol, the Napak District Health Officer, says that the region is already
experiencing family because of the prolonged drought. He notes
that the number of malnourished children below five years of age is still
According to Dr. Lemukol, the rate of enrolment into the nutrition
program is very high compared to that already on the program. He says that in
May they discharged 40 but admitted 300 on the nutrition program. He said that
they expect the number of malnourished children to increase because of the COVID-19
pandemic, lockdown measures and insecurity unless something is done to contain
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Dr. Ben Watmon, the Director Moroto Regional Referral Hospital expressed fear
that the return of rains might trigger a cholera outbreak in the region, where
hygiene is still a major challenge.
“Last time around this time we had a cholera outbreak and we battled with it
during COVID-19. So in order to deal with all these challenges, the health centers
need to be fully equipped and medical workers hired,” he said.
Bosco Nsubuga, the Medical Superintendent of St. Kizito Matany Hospital said
that many patients can’t travel to the health facility because of insecurity resulting
from cattle rustling and movement restrictions because of the lockdown.
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Okengo, the Abim District Health Officer called for deliberate effort to
address the challenges in Karamoja, saying the situation is dire.
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last six months, Uganda People’s Defense Forces- UPDF has recovered 64 firearms
and over 1000 rounds of ammunition from cattle rustlers in the region. MPs
under the Parliamentary COVID-19 Taskforce for Northern Uganda are touring the region
to assess the government COVID-19 interventions.