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Kitgum to start managing Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms

A health worker helps his colleague to wear Hazmat suit in preparation to conduct covid-19 testing in Kitgum Municipality.

Kitgum, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The Kitgum District Covid-19 taskforce will start managing Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms as numbers of community infections rises.

This follows an emergency meeting held with health experts from the National COVID-19 task-force and Health Ministry following space crisis at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital treatment center. 

Over the weekend, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital authorities rejected admitting COVID-19 patients from Kitgum citing space constraints. As a result, Kitgum District is now stuck with 34 COVID-19 positive patients undergoing self-isolation without treatment.

Jackson Omona, the Kitgum LCV Chairperson, says that the health Ministry has developed guidelines for medical personnel and surveillance team to categorize those diagnosed with the virus. 

According to Omona, patients with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and those showing severe COVID-19 symptoms will be referred for immediate medical treatment in Gulu City. 

He says patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms will now be treated from home and non-health institutional facilities. 

Omona says the district COVID-19 taskforce is now assessing some of the health facilities with low population catchment and easily accessible which can be used to manage the patients from.

William Komakech, Kitgum Resident District Commissioner also the district COVID-19 task-force Chairperson says the high community infection trend is as a result of locals failing to adhere to the standard operating procedures-SOPS.

Komakech says they intend to change some of the quarantine centers into treatment units citing that suspected cases will now undergo quarantine from home. He, however, notes that with limited resources at their disposal, patients may be forced to foot their feeding while undergoing treatment.

Dr Geoffrey Okello, Kitgum General Hospital Acting Medical Superintendent says despite the preparations to start managing COVID-19 cases in the district, health centers are still lacking personal protective equipment and drugs. 

He notes that through the office of the District Health Officer, they intend to make a requisition to the Health Ministry for urgent delivery of Personal Protective Equipment- PPEs and drugs needed for COVID-19 management.

Dr Okello, however, revealed in an earlier interview that they are yet waiting for a nod from health Ministry to commence COVID-19 management. 

Health officials on Wednesday visited one of the proposed facilities for COVID-19 treatment at Gweng-Coo Health Center II, in Labongo Amid Sub County for assessment. They are yet to present their findings to the Central Organizing Committee of the task-force.

The district has so far registered one COVID-19 death and 204 infections.

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