Government decentralizes COVID-19 management to districts - National | NTV

Government decentralizes COVID-19 management to districts

By JOSEPH TUMWESIGYE

Thursday April 2, 2020

Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (Daily Monitor Picture) 

The government is decentralizing the management of COVID-19 cases to districts to stop people from travelling to Kampala for screening, the Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng said on Thursday in a Press conference.

The decision, according to Dr Aceng has been put in effect due to the Ministry of Health receiving upcountry Coronavirus cases. Coupled with the Presidential directives that have limited the movement of people, the decision has been eagerly awaited.

“People with COVID-19 like symptoms are advised to call their respective District health Officers and District Surveillance Focal persons,” Dr Aceng says.

To aid this initiative, an Emergency Medical Services plan has been developed. In this plan, a total of 310 ambulances have been deployed both at Central and District levels. These have been set up for purposes of evacuating positive cases to hospitals.

The Ministry of Health has also established a mobile transport network whose sole purpose is to transport samples from the laboratory via the hub system to the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The hub systems are located at Regional Referral Hospitals, general Hospitals and Health centre IVs.

In case of any infections after the testing process, hospital beds across the country have been made available to treat COVID-19 positive patients. The beds are distributed this way;

- Mulago National Specialized Hospital - 900 beds
- Specialized Women’s and Neonatal hospital - 450 beds
- 16 regionals referral hospitals - 48 beds (each will provide 30 beds)
- 50 general Hospitals - 1000 beds. (Each will provide 20 beds)
- 164 health centre IV - 820 beds (each will provide 5 beds)

The Ministry is hopeful that the bed capacity will be increased if and when the private sector and private non-profit organizations are required.

The Ministry of Health has also confirmed the way health workers, who are classified under the essential service provider category, will move during this lockdown. In Kampala, those using public transport will use buses stationed in defined locations by KCCA. Those up-country will get a sticker from the RDC in case they have private vehicles and those using public transport, vehicles will be positioned in designated places by the DHO for their transport.

Uganda now has 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths, a point Minister Aceng emphasized in her press conference. However, the country has not yet had any of its patients recover. Globally, over 940,000 cases have been confirmed with over 200,000 people recovering and another 48,135 fatalities.