Proceedings of The 1st Uganda National Field Epidemiology Conference (Kampala, 2017)

Oral presentation

Cite this: Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. Aug 2017; 1(1): 3. doi:10.11604/pamj.cp.2017.1.3.8

Submitted: 01 Aug 17   Accepted: 08 Aug 17   Published: 11 Aug 17

Key words: Cholera, outbreak, vibrio cholera, Uganda

© Gerald Pande et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Corresponding author: Gerald Pande, Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program, Kampala, Uganda (

This abstract is published as part of the proceedings of The 1st Uganda National Field Epidemiology Conference(UGANDA, )

A cholera outbreak caused by drinking contaminated water from a fenced lakeshore water-collection site – Kasese District, western Uganda, June 2015

Gerald Pande1,&, Benon Kwesiga1, Godfrey Bwire2, Alex Riolexus Ario1


1Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program, Kampala, Uganda, 2Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda



&Corresponding author
Gerald Pande, Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program, Kampala, Uganda




Introduction: on 20 June 2015, a cholera outbreak affecting >30 people was reported in a fishing village in Kasese District, western Uganda. We investigated this outbreak to identify the transmission mode and recommend control measures.


Methods: we defined a suspect case as a person with onset of acute watery diarrhea from June 2015 onward; a probable case was a suspected case with positive Rapid Diagnostic Test for cholera; a confirmed case was a suspect case with Vibrio cholerae cultured from stool. We conducted active case-finding in the village. In a case-control study we compared exposure histories of 39 suspected cases and 156 controls matched by age.We also conducted an environmental assessment.


Results: we identified 61 suspect cases (attack rate = 5.1%, 61/1200), including 19 probable cases and 8 confirmed cases. The epidemic curve indicated an initial point-source outbreak followed by secondary transmission: after the primary case’s onset on 16 June, cases rapidly increased and peaked on 19 June, and rapidly declined afterwards; 8 scattered secondary cases occurred after 22 June. 95% (37/39) of cases and 67% (104/156) of controls usually collected water from water-collection Site A (ORM-H = 9.3; 95%CI = 2.1-39). The primary case developed cholera symptoms while fishing, came on ashore the night of 16 June, and defecated near Site A. The village’s tap-water system broke down 8 months ago, forcing villagers to collect water from the lake.


Conclusion: this cholera outbreak was caused by drinking lake water collected at Site A, contaminated by the primary case-person’s faeces. At our recommendations, the local authorities rigorously disinfected all case-persons’ faeces, provided water treatment tablets, issued a water-boiling advisory, and three weeks later fixed the dysfunctional tap-water system. No cases occurred after 1st July.

















The 1st Uganda National Field Epidemiology Conference (Kampala)

The one-day Field Epidemiology Conference took place on December 11th, 2015 at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala. At this conference, Fellows presented investigations and epidemiologic studies they conducted since they joined the Fellowship in January 2015. Through these investigations and studies, important public health problems facing the nation were unveiled and strategies to address them proposed. This conference presented opportunity for national and international experts to discuss and propose solutions. This was the first Field Epidemiology Conference in Uganda and was attended by important dignitaries from the key partner institutions including Ministry of Health, UN agencies, Embassies, University officials, representatives from districts as well as other national and international delegates.

Country: UGANDA

Dates: 11 Dec 2015

Venue: Golf Course Hotel, Kampala

Organizers: Ministry of Health and Makerere University School of Public Health


Contact person: Dr. Alex Riolexus Ario (