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Nakaseke district struggles to pool vehicles for COVID-19 fight

Nakaseke DHO Kellen Evelyn Musiime say transport challenge has affected thier activities

Nakaseke, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Authorities in Nakaseke are struggling to pool vehicles to help the surveillance team to respond to management of COVID 19.

Last month, President Yoweri Museveni directed that all government vehicles at the district be surrendered to a pool to be overseen by the district health officer to help them respond to suspected COVID 19 cases. 

As a result, Chief Administrative Officers have since written to department heads directing them to surrender in line to Presidential directive.

The cars are needed to respond to suspected cases of COVID patients, transport health workers to health centres, sensitization and surveillance among other activities aimed at fighting the disease.

But in Nakaseke, authorities have managed to pool only three vehicles creating fear that the district is ill-equipped to respond to cases.

Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka the LCV Chairperson Nakaseke says most of the district’s vehicles are faulty and others have been grounded. 

Koomu explains that before the outbreak, officers were sharing the vehicles and others walking to work after failing to get funds to repair them.

Koomu adds that officers on COVID surveillance team have been advised to use the three available vehicles as authorities devise means to increase the fleet. 

Kellen Evelyn Musiime the Nakaseke District Health Officer admitted that there was lack of transport means but said they have designated two ambulances from Nakaseke Hospital to respond to emergencies.

Musiime added that they have also advised health workers to register their private cars for travel permits to ease movement to health centres and field to respond to emergencies.

Some of the grounded vehicles belong to Natural Resources, Works, Finance and Administration Department among others. The motorcycles attached to the same departments are also grounded and others have been written off.

According to District Works Department, Nakaseke needs over 80 million shillings to repair the vehicles which were not readily available.

In Luweero district at least 15 vehicles including ambulances have been secured to respond to the suspected COVID cases.

Luweero district health department has so far responded to 144 suspected cases of COVID 19 and 120 tested negatives. The 24 cases submitted today to Uganda Virus Research Institute for testing are still waiting for results. 

Doctor Innocent Nkonwa the Luweero District Health Officer explains apart from surveillance, the vehicles have helped the department to transfer the health workers to health centres to offer services after the government prohibited public and private means of transport.

But in Nakasongola district, Alex Felix Majeme the Chief Administrative Officer says that although he managed to secure nine vehicles for COVID 19 fight, the district is still struggling to refuel them to execute planned activities. 

Majeme says they are hopeful the government will make disbursement soon to enable them to execute planned activities.  

Uganda has so far recorded 52 confirmed cases of COVID 19. There is no confirmed case in Luweero, Nakasongola and Nakaseke districts.



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