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.
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.