MARACHA. All is set for the implementation of a one year Bilharzia eradication program in Maracha district after three teachers from each nursery and primary school completed training on how to implement the project on Wednesday.

The district scheduled training of the teachers in phases that ended with Yivu and Kijomoro sub-counties.

The district received Shs28.9million from the ministry of health to implement the Bilharzia control program with support from Bilharzia control initiative a Non-governmental Organisation based in United Kingdom (UK).

The person in charge of neglected tropical diseases in the district Mr. Stephen Azabo said the program that starts next week comes as a result of a research and needs assessment done recently.

“We are doing the mass drug administration for children from 5-14 years because some children tested positive in a survey done by the ministry, even if one person tests positive, you treat others to interrupt the transmission”, Azabo stated.

Azabo said the program will be limited to the young school children because the prevalence of the tropical disease is 10% in the district and that may be extended up to some communities in Arua district whose prevalence level lies between 20-50 per cent.

“Bilharzia is among the top ten killer diseases in the world, it is capable of causing anaemia, stunted growth, loss of appetite, weight and poor ability to think and causes poor performance because it leads to absenteeism in schools due to poor health of children”, Azabo added.

A teacher from Yivu primary school Mr. Joseph Angudubo acknowledged that the program is good but advised the district to construct more toilets in schools.

“Unless the toilet facilities in schools are improved, the project is bound to fail since the children will continue to do open defecation”, Angudubo said.

Head teacher of Egamara

The head teacher of Egamara primary school Mr. Job Aguta commended the government for the interventions in controlling diseases that used to kill people without attention.

“I urge the government to continue to lobby more funds, mass vaccinations and treatment has improved the life expectancy of Ugandans”, Aguta said.

The participants were guided on how to teach the communities to promote good sanitation and hygiene by using latrines for defecation, treatment which acts as preventive chemotherapy, drinking safe water and avoid swimming in unsafe water sources among others.