Mbeya. At least 296 children aged one to five were diagnosed with dysentery from January to June, this year, while four others died of the disease in Mbeya Region.
Dysentery, which is an inflammatory disease of the intestine, especially of the colon, has hit Chunya District more than other districts in the region, according to the report.
The acting Mbeya Regional Health officer, Mr Mashaka Juma, told The Citizen yesterday that until now Chunya District was leading with 95 patients followed by Mbarali District with 85 reported cases. “Statistics that we gathered in the entire region from January to June, indicate that 296 children were hospitalised and received diarrhoea treatment,” he said.
“However, so far only four children have been reported dead after suffering from the disease. Three of them came from Mbarali and the other from Rungwe District,” said Juma.
Mr Juma explained that the disease could have been largely caused by poor hygiene, not washing hands and non-use of standard toilets.
However, he said they were stepping up efforts to encourage people to wash their hands before eating anything and after coming from the toilets. He said in Mbeya Region the outbreak of dysentery mostly occurred in May and July because many people were using water wells.
A resident of Mbarali District, Mr Nicolaus Kanuguye, said: “We thank health officers for working hard and providing education to us unlike in the past.”