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Thursday, September 15, 2016


A child suffering from measles and other skin complications

A child suffering from measles and other skin complications

In 1941, the American E.H. Williams was commissioned by the Protestant African Inland Mission, which received financial assistance from agencies in the USA, to build a mission hospital in the district administration center of Arua, Uganda, although a hospital belonging to British occupying forces already existed there.

But the US physicians offered as a specialty cancer treatment. This investment was made in anticipation of the diseases which were to strike the area at a later date. Since the end of 1961, Williams registered 140 cancer cases within three and half years in the small 60-bed hospital.

In 1951, it was clear that the transmission of the yellow fever virus could keep themselves only restricted to the few spotted forests along some rivers in the northwest of the West Nile District. The Arua area, where the foreign scientists were carrying out their work, was safe from the effects.

In 1951, the hospital was moved away from the town into the open country in Kuluva, six miles south of Arua, and in 1951,  the US established a recording system extraordinary for a district hospital. All patients' data were recorded in a catalog form.

What was the real issue here was data on the diseases and not only on the patients, 41,000 patient files were created between 1951 and 1956. The epidemics had already started in 1943, two years after the opening of an American hospital. From 1943 to 1944, a measles epidemic snatched away many children and adults around Kuluva.

In 1961, many children under 18 months were found to be anemic. 50 percent of the children were down with malaria; they were smaller than the other children in Uganda. From 1966 onwards more and more people became infected with hepatitis-B.

There was a dramatic increase in Tetanus-infections among children during the 70's. From 1972 onwards, many children and adults went down with measles which occurred in 1975, 76, 77, and 78, also on the other hand in vaccinated people. 

In 1975, 25% of patients in hospitals were ill with measles as up to there is no average. Children born 1983 till 1984, in 30 villages in the district of Arua who depend on using water out of unprotected water supplies were affected, stunted growth, by increased diarrhea, and skin infections.

AIDS Tests

Four diseases, Epstein-Barr Virus infection, Burkitt's lymphoma, Cytomegalo Virus infection and Kaposi's sarcoma, which appear in Aids diseases were tested in the West Nile District. Kaposi's sarcoma and Burkitt's lymphoma appeared in regions which also showed an increased frequency of liver cancer. This can be induced by mycotoxin Aflatoxin B.

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