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Medics in Gulu Concerned over Self-Medication by Covid-19 Patients

Within the last two weeks, the health workers say five patients have died from the treatment unit after they delayed seeking medical attention from the hospital while a significant number were involved in self-medication.
31 Jul 2021 10:54

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Health workers at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital COVID-19 Treatment Unit have raised concern about the management of patients under home-based care.

Within the last two weeks, the health workers say five patients have died from the treatment unit after they delayed seeking medical attention from the hospital while a significant number were involved in self-medication.

Dr Paska Apiyo, in charge of the unit, says that they have been admitting several emergency cases involving patients from home-based care who are referred to the facility under severe and critical conditions.

As a result, Dr Apiyo explained that so far five patients have this month died from the facility after attempts to save their lives failed because their caretakers or guardians delayed with them at home.

She also pointed out that as many people are testing positive for the virus, several patients are self-medicating out of panic, thus sometimes causing irreversible deterioration of their health.

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She further pointed out that some caregivers don’t have clues on the severity of signs and symptoms of the virus before they rush their patients to the hospital, compounded by the harsh impact of the pandemic lockdown measures that have restricted transport.

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Ballington Olweny P’Ongwech, the District Secretary for Health observed that many patients who have died also suffered from a lack of nutritious foods that they needed to help their bodies fight the virus.

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As of 28 July, records from the District Health Department indicate that 125 patients were receiving treatment under home-based care. Of those, 75 are in Gulu City and 50 of them in Gulu District.

At the beginning of the second lockdown, Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health warned Ugandans against self-medication that included the use of herbal concoctions and cannabis.

Currently, both Gulu City and Gulu District combined have a total of 125 patients being managed under home-based care.

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