FEBRUARY 19, 2010: Gulu Struggles to Keep Heart Patients Alive

Gulu Struggles to Keep Heart Patients Alive
SOURCE: Monitor
By James Eriku

Gulu — At least five people die weekly in Gulu District due to cardiac arrest, a health official has said.

The patron of Gulu Diabetes and Hypertension Association, Ms Alice Lamwaka, said most of the cases are as a result of either hypertension or diabetes.

Cardiac arrest is the cessation of normal circulation of blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively. A cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, where blood flow to the muscle of the heart is impaired.

Ms Lamwaka noted that some of the deaths occurred from hospitals while others from homes as efforts to save patient's lives proved futile.

"It's really absurd that these sicknesses are really finishing our people when we can safeguard against them," she said.

Trend to Worsen

Ms Lamwaka, who was briefing members of the association during a non communicable diseases workshop at Gulu Hospital on Wednesday, observed that the trend could worsen with the frequent shortage of diabetes and hypertension drugs in the district.

The association has about 2,000 registered members suffering from diabetes and about 10,000 members sufferings from hypertension.

The association chairperson, Mr Severino Oloya Okello, however, appealed to the government and other stakeholders to introduce proactive measures to ensure that insulin and other drugs, used in treating the diseases are free for patients all the time.