Soroti Hospital Embarks on Psychosocial Support for COVID-19 Suspects

Some residents have shunned or attacked relatives who returned from abroad or Kampala.
Soroti Regional Referral Hospital main gate.

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Soroti Regional Referral Hospital plans to offer psychosocial support to Covid-19 suspects.

This follows anxiety among members of the community against COVID-19 suspected persons.

Some residents have shunned or attacked relatives who returned from abroad or Kampala.

In the health facilities, patients presenting with cough, flu or sneezing are reluctantly attended to by medical workers.

Emmanuel Okello, a medical worker operating a private clinic in Pamba says many people have instead resorted to them for help. 

“I had an old man here on Monday who has been battling respiratory complications for long. He presented with cough and high fever but when I insisted that he goes to the main hospital for the check-up, the attendants refused and wanted to return the old man home. They claim that both the hospital staff and patients get frantic whenever they see them with the old man”, he said.

Simon Kisabagire, the Principal Hospital Administrator says that they are now engaging staff to psychologically prepare and handle patients presenting with COVID-19 signs and symptoms. He observed that the messages on the spread of the virus have been exaggerated, leaving staff in panic. 

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Daniel Eigu, the Sub County Chairperson of Kamuda in Soroti District says two homes have been broken into by residents on suspicions that some members of the family had returned home with the deadly virus. 

According to Eigu, one of the affected homes belongs to a resident working in Iraq and the other belongs to residents who have been working in Kenya. He explained that although the said residents never set foot in their residences, some members of the community were already agitated and incited others to attack the homes. 

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It took the intervention of Police in Soroti to save three women who had returned from a business trip in Kenya but decided to stay indoors in Orwadai village. The trio is still locked up in the isolation centre at Soroti Comprehensive Nursing School after the locals threatened to lynch them.