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Medics urge Govt to emulate Tanzania, Burundi on COVID-19 management

(Right)-The ministry of health permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwiine

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Medical workers in the private sector have asked the government to consider a benchmarking study from its neighbours; Tanzania and Burundi, to see how it can open up the economy even in the face of coronavirus disease. 

The president of the Society of Uganda Private Medical Practitioners Dr Lulume Bayiga said that it is going to be an uphill task to convince Ugandans that the health impact of COVID-19 is as big as earlier intimated, yet the country has recorded ni no fatalities.

He argued that the two neighbouring countries have kept their economies up and running amidst the pandemic, yet no loss of lives or severely affected cases were recorded.  Dr Lulume was speaking to journalists at their offices in Kawempe on Thursday.

Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli has been openly sceptical of everything pandemic-related. Even though he closed schools and banned public gatherings, the other sectors remained open, and argued against closing churches and mosques.  

Last month, Magufuli triggered conspiracy theories after he said fruits and other nonliving objects he had had secretly sent to the laboratory had come back positive for COVID-19, a move which was followed by opening up the economy, even for tourists, under normal and regular pre-COVID border rules. The last tally in Tanzania was slightly over 500 cases and 16 deaths by early May.

Meanwhile Burundi also downplayed COVID-19 fears by running through a campaign and holding a general election, without restrictions. The country’s leadership maintain that Burundi is a country blessed by God and therefore needed not to quake because of a virus.  

But the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr Diana Atwiine told URN that the said countries are deliberately hiding data related to COVID-19, a mistake that Uganda is not about to make.

Meanwhile, medical practitioners also raised an alarm over what they called a deliberate act by the government ‘to neglect private players in the health sector’ amidst the COVID-19 fight. Dr Lulume said that many of their members suffered immensely during the early months of the lockdown while the government focused on only those in public facilities.

But Atwiine said that the government tried to take care of practitioners in both public and private facilities, even though the support could not cover practitioners everywhere. 




  1. SHAME ON LULUME BAYIGA! One wonders if he is even a medical doctor. How can Bayiga, without shame, call on government to DOWNPLAY COVID-19 and even hide informationfrom the public just because some neighbours of ours have done so? Can Lulume Bayiga give us the statistics on COVID-19 in the said countries that we are being coarsed to emulate? Is he aware that a number of MPs, cabinet ministers, and even a head of state have succumbed to what is suspected to be COVID-19? I know it is getting into election time, but Mr Bayiga, the lives of Ugandans are not as cheap as your slot for an MP seat.

    • My dear- go slow. Dr Bayola has no problem at all. The earlier you get to know that Covid19 will stay with us longer the better. It will be like any other disease that came and never left. So even if you hide away .. it will come for you and us all. We just have to develop immunity against it. We just have to benchmark our Neighbors how they have managed … and how they have fought with the fear and and kept on with life going on undeterred .

    • Because what Bayiga said is the truth and time is going to prove Magufuli right and Museveni wrong. It’s as simple as that. Museveni has damaged the Uganda economy with no serious benefit over Tanzania.

  2. Of all the countries in this world, the medics want Uganda to emulate Tanzania, where the President’s son contracted Covid-19, and Burundi, whose President has recently died from Covid-19!!! What is happening to these medical professionals? These two countries actually DENIED the existence of coronavirus saying that their countries will NOT DO ANYTHING about the virus. Magufuli even said that the pictures of dead people in Brazil are fake! Give us a break!

    • Burundi president died of heart attack. Covid-19 speculation is baseless

      • What kind of statistics are coming out of Burundi to make us want emulate that country? What have they done that is befitting our country to take chances and emulate them? What is the CBA of emulating that country? Francis Nyanzi don’t capitalize on only one thing (seems like you are the only who doesn’t know what killed the Burundian president!) and think that that is enough to make us emulate these countries. By the way, CBA means Cost Benefit Analysis.I don’t have any beef with Burundi, but I really think it is not a country to emulate. Should we also throw out the WHO officials as Burundi did because these officials were telling the truth? These doctors should do more research on these countries, publish their findings then, and only then, can they come up with such halfbaked suggestions. Much as we have not had any deaths in Uganda, doesn’t mean that we are in the clear. Wrong.

  3. I have confirmed some people are not professional ,but they there as pictures of DOCTORS
    Dr Lulume Bayiga as per his profession would not ask minister of Healthy such stupid questions.
    Professional doctor is to save lives but not to wait for death first.
    A wise person can not compare what is happening at neighbor with what is happening at his home
    Therefore my advice to so called DR Lulume Bayiga is ,let him visit China,Italy USA,Spain,Brazil,UK ,South Africa,Egypt, Algeria,Russia which relax to handle COVID 19 Very fast,they will tell him what COVID 19 is and he will also come tell us, I am very happy with how the president Museven and minster Of Healthy handling COVID 19 .It shows automatically that they are professional in what they doing.

  4. Burundi changes tack as president declares COVID-19 ‘biggest enemy’
    July 1st, 2020
    Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye has declared the coronavirus the country’s “biggest enemy”, in a major about-turn for a nation which has largely ignored the dangers of the virus.

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