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Your body is able to fight Red eyes without being treated, Doctors said


Following the outbreak of red eyes known as Conjunctivitis in the country in march this year, the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines for people to prevent themselves against the virus which spreads too fast.

People in different parts of the country have been infected by the virus and it mostly affects people living in the same homes and same spaces. And most of the people are wondering why the virus spreads too fast however much they try to follow the Ministry’s preventive measures.

Msnews Uganda talked to Aidah Nanfuka a resident of Kigoma in Wakiso district who stressed that she heard about the preventive measures from the Ministry of health on radio, but when she was infected with red eyes, there is no way that she could avoid spreading it to her children since they are staying together in the same home and share everything. She added that, they adopted using remedies such as tea leaves in hot water and salt for relief, which they feel helped them.

According to the Incident commander , KCCA red eye Response, Doctor Alex Ndyabakira, people living in small congested homes have suffered the virus more compared to those who stay in big homes, since it easily spreads through touching the infected area yet people living in congested areas share the things they use such as basins, plates, towels, pillows among others making it so easy for them to contract the virus from each other.

He noted that the Ministry has tried it’s best to create awareness to the people about the spread of the virus and people are aware, but most of them especially those living in small homes have no choice but stay with the family members who are infected. However he stressed that red eyes can cure naturally especially if the patient is not diagnosed with any other secondary bacterial infection, therefore the remedies people use are not called for.

However, he revealed that the Ministry doesn’t have enough budget to compete with the adverts running on radios,TVs and other advert mechanisms, this in one way or the other hinder people from getting enough of the information from the preventive measures given out by the Ministry but called for collective responsibility.

He appealed to people to wash their hands with clean water and soap as much as they can, avoid touching their eyes, avoid sharing personal items like pillows, towels, hankies among others, and appealed to all health care workers to manage outbreaks at the source and not to send children from school when they get red eyes.

The Director Health Services, Public Health Dr. Daniel J. Kyabayinze noted that, the challenge is that people believe in the sources they are used to get information from, such as their mothers, friends, and other close relatives, but unfortunately such people do not have enough answers about the Red eyes, though they have been able to give them information about other issues.

However, Dr. Daniel expressed concern over the people listening to wrong sources with counter feit information without scientific evidence from trusted sources, that circulate to the public and mislead people to an extent that they end up avoiding the preventive measures from the Ministry. This escalates the problem. ” I think sources such as religious leaders should be trusted with such information since they attract people’s attention as they preach to them every week.” He stressed.

Dr. Daniel therefore called upon the public to stop using the remedies they are using on red eyes for them to heal. He mentioned remedies such as herbs, tea leaves, urine among others saying that such remedies are going to injure their eyes in the long run causing corneal scar that leads to blindness. He added that the eye drops ( when prescribed by a Doctor) only help to reduce irritation, not healing. “It is a self limiting illness that heals on its own, the body has the ability to fight it off especially if we do exercises, bathe regularly, drink much water, eat right, sleep well, don’t abuse drugs, and keep your bodies as well tendered gardens.” He emphasised.

In the same way, the Program Director of the Division of Global Health Protection for CDC Uganda Dr. Amy Boore noted that, however much the infection will clear up on its own within 1-2 weeks without treatment needed, and with no long-term consequences, Newborns with symptoms should be seen by a doctor right away. She added that, other infected persons who have severe pain in their infected eye, have a weakened immune system, have symptoms that do not improve or get worse after a week, or have blurred vision that does not improve when discharge is wiped from the eye, should also seek care.

Dr. Boore added that, the best home remedies for easing symptoms are cool or warm compresses against the eye. For example, a clean cloth dipped in either hot or cool water (without adding anything in the water) and placed gently against the outside of the closed infected eye can be relieving. Similarly, a clean cloth with clean cool or warm water can be used to gently wipe away discharge from the infected eye (with a different cloth then being used for the other eye to prevent spreading the infection) until the infection has resolved.

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