Children in Uganda come to Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital for a variety of ailments. Among in-patients and out-patients, the most common illnesses are malaria, respiratory infection/pneumonia, and dysentery.
- Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
- Malaria is the leading cause of death in Uganda.In Uganda, 35,000 – 50,000 children under 5 die of malaria each year. Yet it is a preventable, treatable disease.
- Without treatment, a child with acute malaria may die within 24 hours.
- Malaria accounts for 40% of Ugandan public health expenditure, 30-50% of inpatient admissions, and up to 50% of outpatient visits in areas with high malaria transmission.
- In industry and agriculture, malaria accounts for more than 50% of all man hours lost. This affects production and revenue for the industry, families and the nation. Malaria is therefore a leading cause not only of ill health and death in Uganda but also of poverty.
- Malaria is eminently treatable. Children can be saved if immediate hospitalization and treatment is available, typically for just a few days or a week.
Respiratory diseases are the second-highest cause of death in children under 5 in Uganda. Twenty-one percent of all under-5 deaths in Uganda are due to respiratory infection. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics can prevent a large proportion of deaths caused by respiratory infection.
Dysentery is another prevalent cause of death in children under 5 in Uganda. Seventeen percent of all under-5 deaths in Uganda are due to dehydration brought on by dysentery, even though dysentery can be easily treated with oral rehydration therapy. In the southwest region of Uganda, where Mbarara is located, only half of children with dysentery are currently treated by health providers. Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital now provides additional capacity to treat these children.
Lack of Vaccinations
Vaccinations are an effective defense against many other childhood diseases. Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital offers vaccinations to children visiting the hospital, and also conducts outreach programs going out into the community to educate families about the benefits of vaccinations and provide vaccinations on the spot.