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Renovation Works of COVID-19 Holding Centre At Awach HCIV Stall Over Funding

Ballington Olweny P’Ongwech, the District Secretary for Health disclosed that the tent was erected at the facility’s compound to provide more space for treating asymptomatic patients, but the shelter was blown away by a violent storm.
20 Jul 2021 15:05
Gulu District Chairperson LC 5 Christopher Opiyo Atekere - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

The renovation works on the Covid-19 patients’ holding centre at Awach Health Centre IV in Gulu District has stalled over lack of funds.

Last month, the District Task Force designated Awach a holding centre for patients diagnosed with the virus following a rise in community infections that had overwhelmed Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor.

Phoebe Ayoo Obol, the District Speaker who doubles as the Female Councilor for Patiko and Owor Sub-Counties said that Awach Health Centre has only two beds for patients and the creation of the holding centre would bring a sigh of relief.

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Ballington Olweny P’Ongwech, the District Secretary for Health disclosed that the tent was erected at the facility’s compound to provide more space for treating asymptomatic patients, but it was blown away by a violent storm.

He explained that early this month, the District Task Force drafted a budget of shillings 23 million to repair the damaged tent, and equip it with beds but the refurbishment work has stalled due to funding shortfall.

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The LCV Chairperson Gulu Christopher Opiyo Atekere says that they have already written to all development partners operating within the district for financial support.

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According to Dr Kenneth Canna, the District Health Officer, also the Secretary to the Task Force, the District is seeking funding of 316 million shillings to boost the fight against covid-19.

According to the breakdown of the draft budget, the money will facilitate the implementation of mass sensitization against the virus, improve adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures - SOPs, infection control and prevention.

As of Friday last week, statistics available from the District Health Department indicates that there were six patients undergoing treatment at Awach Health Centre IV while 93 of the patients are being treated under the home-based care system.

Both Gulu District and Gulu City have lost up to 104 people since April 2020 from 3,209 cumulative cases. Out of those 2,917 people have recovered.