By Ambrose Musasizi
President Museveni has cautioned residents in the districts of Rakai and Kyotera against eating meat when they are not sure about its source.
The President said such meat will expose them to anthrax which has already claimed 17 lives while 28 others are bedridden in several villages of Kabira Sub County in Kyotera District.
“I was informed about a disease known as Anthrax in these areas of Rakai and Kyotera. It catches people after they have eaten meat of an infected animal or touched a dead animal which is already sick ,” Mr Museveni said during the commemoration of the World Aids Day at Kiswaaga Village, Byakabanda Sub County in Rakai District last Friday.
The President however said since Anthrax is not contagious, it is the reason why the government maintained the venue of this year’s World Aids Day commemoration rather than shifting it to Kayunga District as it had been proposed five days prior to the event. At the function, meat was not served as the norm has been at most public functions in the area.
Anthrax is caused by a bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Humans generally acquire the disease directly or indirectly from infected animals or occupational exposure to affected or contaminated animal products.
It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.
People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
Domestic and wild animals can become infected with anthrax when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants or water. The animals can include cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes. In areas where domestic animals have had anthrax in the past, routine vaccination can help prevent outbreaks.
Upon his arrival in Rakai, Mr Museveni unveiled a monument at Kibaale trading centre in appreciation of individuals who have played a big role in the fight against the Aids scourge in the past four decades .
He later urged Ugandans to avoid contracting the virus as a way of neutralizing it to prevent new infections.
Available statistics from the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) show that more than 50,000 acquired HIV/Aids in the last two years and 17,000 Aids-related deaths occur per year. These new infections are occurring among young girls and women between the ages of 15 to 24 years. This translates into about 25,000 people per year and about 68 per day .
He advised the people already living with the virus to live a positive life and regularly take their medicine.
“We lost some soldiers in the Army on Antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs because their bodies weakened due to being overworked. Make sure that while taking the ARVs, you eat well and avoid stressing the body,” he said.
The day was marked under the theme: Ending Aids by 2030, Keeping Communities at the Centre”.
The Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC), Dr Nelson Musoba, said Uganda has been a pioneer in implementing successful prevention and awareness programmes which has served as a model for other nations.
“The government’s commitment, the collaboration with donors has resulted in providing accessible and affordable antiretroviral treatment that has undoubtedly saved countless lives and demonstrated Uganda’s dedication to the health and wellbeing of its citizens,” he said.