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Health ministry launches UGX 4B project to fight elephantiasis in Lango

Ministry of Health has launched a 3-year project worth Shillings 4 billion aimed at eliminating hydrocele and lymphatic filariasis (LF) commonly known as Elephantiasis from Lango Sub-region. 

The Lango LF Morbidity Management and Disability prevention- MMDP project will support the provision of surgeries for hydrocele and lymfoidima in the nine districts comprising Lango sub-region.

They are Lira, Apac, Kwania, Dokolo, Amolatar, Alebtong, Otuke, Kole, and Oyam in Lango sub-region. That project that started in October is being implemented by Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness.

Anonymous donors are funding the program in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Uganda, Vector Control Division-VCD and District Local Governments through HCIV’s. Under the project, Sight savers will work through the Village Health Team (VIT) to mobilize and sensitize the community as well as train family members on how to take care of patients.

Part of the money will go to training surgical teams including doctors and people who work in the theaters to provide surgeries and VHTs as case finders to move from house to house looking for the cases in the nine districts. People with lymfoidima will receive training on how to take good care of themselves to ensure they recover from the condition.

Gabriel Matwale, the Program Manager Community Health and Vector Control Division at MoH, says they intend to operate 7,000 people to address both hydrocele and elephantiasis in Lango. He encouraged the victims to embrace the program, saying their condition is manageable.

Matwale, who trashed the common belief that the two conditions are related to witchcraft and bad omen advised the victims to maintain good hygiene and follow doctor’s orders.

Dr. Johnson Ngorok, the Country Director Sightsavers Uganda revealed that Lango sub-region was selected for the program because it is the second most affected region. The other affected regions include some part of Acholi, West Nile and Bukedi region.  Teso is the most affected.   

Rashid Mwesigye Etwop, the Lira District Vector Control Officer advised the community to embrace the project and ensure that those with such cases are treated so that it can be eradicated once and for all.

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