workers have been asked to embrace COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves
against COVID-19 infections.
The call was made by health officials during the 19th Dr Matthew
Lukwiya memorial lecture held on Thursday at the Guide University Project in
Dr Lukyiwa was the former Director of St Mary's Hospital Lacor in Gulu. He
succumbed to Ebola in 2000.
To date, 120 health workers have succumbed to the COVID-19 since March 2020. The
majority of the doctors died during the second wave between May and June.
While doctors have always attributed the high number of infections and eventual
deaths to the health ministry inability to provide personal protective equipment-PPEs,
officials from the health ministry and the World Health Organization-WHO want
the health workers to embrace vaccination since it is one of the ways the
spread of the virus can be stopped.
Dr Dorothy Ngayilo, a Consultant with the WHO on Occupational and Work Health, says
the responsibility to avoid COVID-19 infection among health workers should be
shared between government and health workers.
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Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Clinical Services at the health ministry says
while the government is committed to protecting the lives of health workers,
health workers need to play their part.
"Vaccines are effective and safe. Most of the people who have lost their
lives due to COVID-19 were not vaccinated. Health workers please go and get
vaccinated. These vaccines were there and they are one of the ways you can
protect yourselves," Olaro said.
Figures from the health ministry as of October 16 show that out of the targeted
150,000 health workers, only 62,448 have been fully vaccinated, while 123,944
have received one jab.
Health officials says these numbers are still low especially among health
workers since many of them at are high risks of being infected with COVID-19.
Muhereza, the Secretary-General of the Uganda Medical Association says while
vaccination works, it goes hand in hand with other measures.
does not stop someone from falling sick. It works but the government should endeavour
to provide other materials such as PPE to ensure the safety of health
workers," he said.