Makerere professor says Cholera genetically spread

Assoc. Prof. Christopher Garimoi (right), congratulates Dr. Godfrey Bwire (Left) after he was conferred upon his PhD during Day 1 of the 70th Graduation Ceremony, 14th January 2020, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

A study by the Ministry of Health and Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), has ruled out water sources being possible reservoirs of cholera causing bacteria.

The findings hint at the genetic spread of cholera in Uganda, East and Central African regions.

“Our study discovered that water sources were possibly not reservoirs for the epidemic vibrio cholera, a bacteria that causes cholera,” Dr.Godfrey Bwire, the lead researcher said.

The study found that cholera outbreaks in Uganda were due to three genetically related vibrio cholerae types or clones.

Victoria University

The clones, according to Bwire, showed that transmission was within Uganda, East, and Central African regions,” he added.

Bwire studied molecular characterization and rapid detection of vibrio cholerae bacteria in Uganda; the relationship between human pathogens and aquatic environment, as his doctorate programme at MUSPH. He was among many who graduated at Makerere University recently.

He is also a principal medical officer in charge of controlling diarrheal diseases at the health ministry.

The disease for years has attacked the districts on the different borderlines of Uganda.

They include Nebbi, Hoima, Ntoroko, Kasese, Namayingo, Busia, Moyo, Arua, Zombo, Pakwach and Buliisa.

In 2018, it broke out in Kampala and a total of 53 cases were registered mostly in Kabowa- Sembule II and Kironde zone in Rubaga Division.

The study was jointly funded by the Ministry of Health and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USA) and supervised by Prof. Christopher Garimoi Orach (MUSPH) and Prof. David Allen Sack (John Hopkins University, USA).

Prof. Christopher Grimoi Orach, the head of the department of community and behavior sciences at MUSPH said, the conclusions in the study, are drawn from the tests conducted on 63 samples collected from outbreaks in Uganda between 2014 and 2016.

Credit: New Vision



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