Health News


Doctors: Preeclampsia Cases On The Rise


Preeclampsia cases are on the rise, according to Doctors at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage of other body organs most often the liver and kidneys. It is usually starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women.

Data from Mulago shows that the number preeclampsia of cases is steading increasing. In 2017, 903 preeclampsia cases were recorded compared to 663 in 2016.

Dr. Annette Nakimuli, head Obstetrics and Gynecology Mulago Hospital and Makerere University, says they have been receiving several referrals from other health facilities.

Dr. Nakimuli says the condition of so many mothers tends to worsen because many health workers do not know how to handle preeclampsia cases.

The Uganda Demographics and Health Survey shows that 343 women per 100,000 die during child labor. Dr. Evelyn Nabunya, the Clinical Head, Directorate of Obstetrics and Gynecology Mulago Hospital, says preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal mortality at the hospital.

Data shows that preeclampsia is responsible for 23.9 percent of the deaths at Mulago hospital. Preeclampsia is the third leading cause of death among women after bleeding and sepsis in Uganda. Dr. Nabunya attributes the high deaths to delayed referral of the affected mothers.

The cause of preeclampsia is still unknown. However, it can be detected by the presence of protein in a pregnant woman's urine and abnormal development of the baby's placenta. First time mothers, very old or young, obese, diabetic and women with chronic hypertension are at high risk of preeclampsia.

Michael Bukenya, the Chairperson Parliamentary Health Committee, says there is need for the Ministry of Health to do more by availing the necessary drugs and skilled personnel in all health centers to avoid referrals of preeclampsia cases.

Preeclampsia can lead to death of the mother or child or both in severe conditions. For those that survive, it can lead to stroke, kidney failure, premature births and hypertension.

Doctors in Uganda joined the rest of the world on Tuesday to commemorate the international preeclampsia day at Kawempe Referral Hospital.


Over 40,000 HIV Patients at Risk as NMS Fails to supply Septrine



The lives of more than 40,000 people living with HIV/Aids in Lira district is at stake following the failure by the National Medical Stores-NMS to supply Cotrimoxazole alias Septrin for the past four months.

Septrin is an approved antibiotic comprised of two drugs, trimethoprim and sulphamethoxazole. It is commonly used by people living with HIV/Aids to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), isosporiasis and bronchitis.

However, a number of health facilities in Lira have not had the drug for over four months. They include among others Lira Regional Referral Hospital with about 20,000 patients, Amach H/C IV with 5200 patients, Ogur H/C IV with 7000 patients, Bar H/CIII with 3800, Aromo health Centre III with 2500 patients and Ober H/CIII with about 400 patients.

Dr. Partick Buchan Ocen, the Lira district Health Officer told PRIME RADIO, that they have not received septrine from the National Medical Stores-NMS since January 2018. He says their attempts to source for the drug from the neighboring districts like Kole district hit a snag since they are equally affected.

He advises people living with HIV/Aids to consider buying septrine from private facilities as they were for supplies from the National Medical Stores.

A dose of 960 milligram of septrine for a full month in private pharmacy in Lira town costs Shillings 5000. Fred Omara, the chairperson of Persons living with HIV/Aids in Lira district has also supported the proposal to buy the drug from private pharmacies.

He however, says this comprises the health of Persons living with HIV/Aids because some of them are unable to buy the medicine. Agnes Akullu, 48, a resident of Ogur Sub County says she has missed taking the tablets for two months now. Akullu says the few tablets she had stocked got finished.

Dan Kimosho, the spokesperson National Medical Stores has confirmed the shortage of Septrin in major health facilities across the country, saying they expect to deliver the drugs after the presentation of the national budget.

The World Health Organisation adopted the use of Cotrimoxazole tablets as a preventive therapy for opportunistic infections among HIV patients in 2004. The proposal was in 2006, reinforced by WHO in a guideline document recommending cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for all infants exposed to HIV infection and all children and adults with CD4 cell counts less than 200.

Under this guideline, all infants born to mothers living with HIV must receive cotrimoxazole prophylaxis, starting at four to six weeks of age, or in their first encounter with the health care system, to be administered until the possibility of HIV infection is excluded.



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