Bwindi Gorillas are likely to contradict Tuberculosis

The Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Nationa Park are feared to contract TB if the surrounding community is not treated of TB. Last year about 16 people in Mukono and Bujengwe parishes were suspected to be suffering from this deadly disease yet the gorillas had been frequenting their homes. In her speech, Mr. Ngabirano said between January and October 2009, gorillas paid a visit to 18 homes and spent with them 2 to 3 days before returning to their sanctuary. Some of the members of these families had TB patients who had been identified by community health workers. He explained that TB drugs were still lacking in the area and the only place where they could get treatment was Kayonza Health Centre III which was quite distant from this area and people from this area could not afford meeting transport costs to this centre. He appealed to the government to come to the rescue of those people.

In the same meeting the District Health Inspector for Kanungu, Mr. Taremwa, warned that a bigger problem was likely to face the gorillas since many other diseases were likely to infect them owing to the poor sanitation in the area. He revealed that a team of 48 health workers had carried out a survey in 22,264 families in Mukono and Bujengwe in September and results were dismal. “Almost half the families did not have latrines. They used the bush and when it rained all feaces ended up in streams where people and animals get water for consumption,” he said.

The chairman LCI for Buhoma, Mr. Benard Tugabirwe, explained that the area was rocky and therefore difficult to dig a pit latrine. Most latrines are 3 to 4 ft because of the rock.
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