Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told the Lira District COVID-19 Task Force that the low capacity among frontline workers, coupled with the laxity among members of Public is an indicator that the area was ill-prepared for the catastrophe, and that this is a cause for worry, if the situation is not well handled.
Health facilities in Lango sub
region was not prepared to handle any case of coronavirus disease even though
Lira Regional Referral Hospital is already managing 21 patients.
Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth
Aceng told the Lira District COVID-19 Task Force that the low capacity among
frontline workers, coupled with the laxity among members of Public is an
indicator that the area was ill-prepared for the catastrophe, and that this is
a cause for worry, if the situation is not well handled.
She explained that the Regional
Referral hospitals including Lira were not strengthened to manage severe cases
of COVID-19. According to Aceng, the government had decided to maintain the
management of cases at only national and regional referral hospitals.
“We are reluctant to move it down
to the general hospitals because when we spread so thin, we shall lose control the
same way it happened in Italy. It is better to have control and know what’s
Although Aceng made reference to expert
teams that were sent to the regions to build the capacity in terms of surveillance,
the COVID-19 task force in Lira did not know about the presence of the teams.
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According to Aceng, the regional
teams should have reported to the District task force first before integrating
anywhere. However, she says that the DHO
and the Hospital Directors are aware of the presence of the teams, which should
ideally, work with the task force.
“So that clearly tells me that
capacity building in Lira has not gone on as planned and in the entire region
which is a big disappointment!”
But Jimmy Kata Ogwal, the coronavirus
surveillance focal point person confirmed that Regional teams that the minister
made reference to had finished their work in Lira and moved to another district
in Lango Sub-region.
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The minister said that she was worried
about the fact that people are relaxed, and are not following the Ministry’s guidelines
of social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands.
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A total of 21 coronavirus
patients are being treated at Lira Regional Referral Hospital’s Mental Unit. Most
of the patients are asymptomatic except two who are comorbidity patients.
The Minister urged health workers to ensure that the cases in the hospital are well managed to avoid a flip over to the community.