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Lango Sub- Region Ill prepared for COVID-19

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.
Minister Jane Ruth Acheng

Audio 4

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 happening.”  

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.

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