A Descriptive Overview of the Burden, Distribution and Characteristics of Epidemics in Uganda

  • R W Mayega
  • M Musenero
  • I Nabukenya
  • K Juliet
  • W Bazeyo
Keywords: Epidemic, outbreak, surveillance


Background: Although Uganda is a high burden country for epidemics of infectious diseases, the pattern of epidemics has not yet been adequately documented. The purpose of this study was to describe the distribution, magnitude and characteristics of recent epidemics in Uganda, as a basis for informing policy on priorities for targeted prevention of epidemics.
Methods: Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from the Epidemiological Surveillance Division of the Ministry of Health and the African Field Epidemiology Network through key informant interviews and a documents review.
Results: Acute outbreaks that have occurred since 2002 are: Cholera, Meningitis, Malaria, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (Ebola, Marburg), arboviruses (yellow-fever), Anthrax, Hepatitis E, Measles, Polio, Influenza A viruses, dysentery and other diarrheal diseases. Chronic outbreaks include: Propagated epidemics of cholera, head nodding disease, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis E, HIV and Typhoid Fever. Thirty-one districts had a high incidence of cholera. Most of the epidemic prone diseases are preventable through appropriate behavior change and sanitation measures. However, current focus is mainly on prevention, low focus on prevention. Community involvement in resilience and early detection is inadequate.
Conclusion: Uganda has a high burden of preventable epidemic prone diseases. There is need to invest in surveillance, early detection and sustainable prevention through appropriate technology and behavior change involving individuals, families, communities and policy makers.

Keywords: Epidemic, outbreak, surveillance,


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eISSN: 0856-8960