Cough and flu: deprived Ugandan Parents give alcohol to children to treat cough

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APAC, Uganda

Some parents in Abongomola and Chawente sub-counties in Kwania and Apac districts are giving their children alcohol as treatment for flu and cough.

However, health experts warn about the dangers of introducing children to alcohol.
In Uganda people below 18 years are prohibited from taking alcohol.
Residents claim giving children small amount of distilled local potent gin at bedtime reduces the severity of their cough symptoms.

Others claim alcohol cures cough flu and cold.
Ms Harriet Oceng, a resident of Abwal A cell, Ongica Parish, Chegere Sub-county in Apac District, says she introduced her one-and-half-year old baby to alcohol as a solution to persistent cough.

“When my baby started coughing last month, I went to a nearby clinic to buy some drugs but I could not afford it. My neighbour advised me to try alcohol. I bought waragi and gave her, now the cough is no more,” she said.

Mr Alfred Enyang, another resident, revealed that he only seeks health care services when his children suffer from other ailments, but not cough.

“When any of my four children starts coughing, I give them alcohol because it destroys it within hours,” he said.

The practice of treating coughing children with alcohol is widespread, according to Mr Felix Odwong, the councillor for Amorigoga Parish in Kwania District.

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