Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Medical Association have asked the Ministry of health to put in place a treatment plan for front line health workers infected with COVID-19.
According to the medics, many of their colleagues are infected with the disease while on duty either working in COVID-19 treatment facilities or general wards. However, they are not being prioritized which leaves the country at a disadvantage.
The call comes after two senior doctors succumbed to Covid-19. They are Dr Charles Kiggundu, a gynaecologist and Dr Fred Kigozi, the former executive director of Butabiika National Mental Referral Hospital.
Dr Frank Asiimwe, the chairperson in charge of doctors’ welfare at UMA, says that the death of medical workers should not be taken lightly because they are a fountain of knowledge.
According to Dr Asiimwe, many health workers infected with the disease and need assisted breathing have been abandoned by the government forcing them to seek treatment in private facilities who charge exorbitantly.
To date, over 1,744 health workers have been infected with the disease, with 17 of them succumbing to the disease.
Dr Richard Idro, the Uganda Medical Association president, says that the death of medical workers needs to be addressed urgently. He says the government needs to consider keeping senior doctors away from hospital rounds.
“We are proposing that young doctors take up work onwards so that the older doctors can remain at home. These doctors are older and more susceptible to diseases compared to the younger ones. We think that if the senior doctors remained home and carried out online consultations with other doctors, this would help us save this vital human resource which is at risk,” he said.
Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Curative Services at the ministry of health, says that health workers are already receiving the best care that the country can provide.
“Health workers are our priority. They are the backbone of the health system, and as such, we give them a priority by giving them a risk allowance and offering them free medical care once they admitted for COVID-19. At the moment, this is the best that we can do. We cannot provide them with a ward to offer care for them. We do not have those means,” he said.