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Children stuck with their mothers at Gulu COVID-19 centre at risk

Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu the Minister for Primary Health Care at a function to release COVID-19 healed patients. Gulu hospital still faces many challenges.

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu hospital is seeking help from UNICEF and World Vision to help build a centre to cater for children of COVID-19 patients.

Six children are housed at the COVID-19 treatment centre at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital where their mothers are receiving treatment after testing positive for the contagious disease. The children are aged between one and three years.

Dr Paska Apiyo, the Head of the COVID-19 Treatment Centre at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital told URN in an interview that one of the COVID-19 positive mothers was forced to carry her child along because her husband-a police officer- declined to take care of the child claiming he has a busy schedule.

According to Apiyo, the Children are at a very high risk of getting infected since they are always in contact with the mothers. COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person, and the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Bishop Janani Loum, the Head of Surveillance at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital told URN that the mothers have been put in self-contained rooms to minimize their children’s movement and contact with other people in the treatment Centre.

Loum adds that the mothers have been given N95 face-masks and advised to follow the Standard Operating Procedures while breastfeeding to reduce the chances of infecting their children. All of them

Loum adds that the hospital management is in talks with development partners like UNICEF and World Vision to help in the construction of child-friendly space, a facility that shall be used to keep the children whose mothers shall be receiving COVID-19 treatment at the health facility.

Adrian Ssali, the Country Representative of Soleterre Foundation, a Charity Organization that has been supporting Gulu Regional Referral Hospital since 2011 said that a proposal has been sent to their headquarters in Millan in Italy to see that child-friendly space is constructed at the hospital to deal with such situations.

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