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Task Force Struggles to Manage Children Isolated with Mothers in Arua

The Quarantine Centre has 26 suspects, which include six Ugandans and 20 foreign nationals mainly from South Sudan. 23 of the secluded persons have been categorized as high-risk travellers who have moved from Uganda to South Sudan during the time of the COVID-19 contagion.
Manase Anziku district health inspector Arua addressing members of covid19 taskforce during a weekly meeting today in Arua.

Audio 2

The Arua district COVID-19 task force is struggling to manage children whose mothers have been secluded at Arua Prison Primary School Institutional Quarantine Centre. 

The Quarantine Centre has 26 suspects, which include six Ugandans and 20 foreign nationals mainly from South Sudan. 23 of the secluded persons have been categorized as high-risk travellers who have moved from Uganda to South Sudan during the time of the COVID-19 contagion. 

But at the same time, the Centre is hosting four children of South Sudan nationals, among those in quarantine. But Norman Cwinyai, the COVID-19 Surveillance and Laboratory focal person says that they do not have a children-friendly environment to keep the children of quarantined mothers. 

According to Cwinyai, they have been left with no option but to keep the children together with their mothers, a move which he acknowledges could be risky for the health and wellbeing of the children.

//Cue in; Out of these 26… 

Cue out… care of these children.”//  

However, Arua district health Inspector Manase Anziku, says that the Centre was established without a focus on how to handle children. He appeals to the partners in Arua and the new Terego district to come to the aid of the children by creating children-friendly environments to keep them away from mixing with people under quarantine. 

//Cue in; When we started the… 

Cue out… other members there."//

Arua Resident district commissioner Nahori Oya has urged the health personnel and partners not to relax on critical challenges like that of the children but mobilize for local support to handle them. 

Arua COVID-19 task force continues to receive alerts especially from the refugee camps on suspected COVID-19 cases many of whom are women with children. The surveillance team last week received 14 COVID-19 alerts from Imvepi and Omugo refugee camps now in the new Terego district, which still has no COVID-19 taskforce in place.