Dr. Nathan Onyachi, the Medical Director of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital and coordinator of health services under the Greater Masaka Regional Covid-19 task force, says that they have agreed to proactively engage village health teams to reinforce the limited number of health workers in providing the much-needed response and case-management services in the area.
Health Teams-VHTs will monitor Coronavirus patients placed under Home-based
care and oversee burial arrangements in Masaka Sub-region, according to the Regional
Covid-19 task force.
Dr. Nathan Onyachi, the Medical Director of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital
and coordinator of health services under the Greater Masaka Regional Covid-19
task force, says that they have agreed to proactively engage village health
teams to reinforce the limited number of health workers in providing the
much-needed response and case-management services in the area.
Dr. Onyachi says that although the VHTs were previously used to trace contacts
of Covid-19 cases, their services are also required in the actual management of
cases within their communities, even with their elementary knowledge in
providing healthcare services.
He explains that they intend to engage VHTs to proactively
carryout routine monitoring of Covid-19 patients under home-based care, provide
drug refills as well as filing patient progress reports to hospitals for
According to Dr. Onyaki with a spike in the number of
Covid-19 cases, they have found it proper that the available staff at hospitals
and health centers dedicate their time to testing and treating patients on
admission. The available records show that by Tuesday Masaka
regional referral Hospital had 147 Covid-19 patients on home-based
care and 11 in Intensive Care Unit-ICU.
//Cue in: (Luganda) “nga bakusanze …..
Cue out; ……kiki ky’olina okukola.”//
On the other hand, Dr. Onyaki says that they also intend to use the VHTs in
overseeing burial of Covid-19 victims in corroboration with their
relatives. In November last year, the Ministry of Health revised the
Covid-19 burial protocols and allowed families to begin burying their loved
ones who succumb to the virus, after it was established that the risk of
contracting the infection from dead bodies can be eliminated by proper use of
However, Dr. Onyaki says
that the task force prefers the whole burial process is still followed to the
latter to ensure strict adherence to the safety guidelines.
//Cue in: ”okusooka okutya kwaliwo…..
Cue out; ….tugenda
Swaibuh Makumbi, a member of the Village Health Team in Butego ward in Masaka
city has asked the task force to carry out strict screening of teams they will
deploy to avoid the possibility of onward transmission of the virus.
to him, some of the VHTs are not well acquainted with the basic healthcare
procedures, saying that task force should identify only those that are more
active, take them through refresher training and equip them with protective
gears before they are sent out to do the work.