By Goodluck Musinguzi
Most of my phone calls up-country are helping to recruit individuals in the fight against COVID-19. After discussing other issues i remind my friends to keep safe against the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Health Organization has called us to join #WearAMask challenge and protect loved ones from COVID-19 . To break the chains of transmission , we must also keep physical distance,keep cleaning hands,keep away from big crowds , keep covering your mouth and hands when coughing.
Today’s question to me was simple, do i believe that coronavirus kills? Mark a family man, leader of our savings group said they would wish to get information from us “educated, rich” because we see far.
I spent extra 20 minutes reminding him that Uganda has lost 5 people to coronavirus pandemic. He replied that he last heard news on radio when the 3rd person was reported.
The Middle Class or Corporate class sends back home millions of shillings to support families or employees who handle their projects. The Ministry of Health should target these people so that they become change agents.
I called Peter who heads a team that keep my home to inquire whether they got masks, he said yes. I called my local council one chairman Brodi who assured me that all residents of Omwibare village,Rushaki Parish, Kabale Southern Division, Kabale Municipality Kabale District had received their masks.
Brodi said his challenge is enforcing the wearing of masks because he doesn’t see people putting them on. I encouraged those people who keep my home to put on masks so that we are all safe.
Hon Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health addressed the country recently after Uganda had registered the first death of coronavirus.
“The National Task Force and the Ministry of Health has been observing the dire state of affairs in various parts of Kampala Capital City especially in Kikuubo , taxi park and in other parts of the country”, said Hon Aceng.
She said while government is cognizant of the location and nature of business carried out in downtown Kampala, continuing activities as usual without wearing masks and no social distancing is extremely harmful to your life, your family and loved ones.
Coronavirus is real and dangerous to our communities, the government is distributing re-usable masks to help those ones who cant afford.
The government will give guidelines and directives but elf regulation will help us to stop the spread of this killer disease.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services Ministry of Health said WearAMask to protect your near and dear ones from COVID-19.This should be coupled by washing hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer frequently and maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters between you and the person next to you. #WearAMaskChallenge #StaySafeUg
Ministry of Health- Uganda says Always #WearAMask when in public to prevent COVID-19. Remember to also wash your hands with soap and water/use a hand sanitizer and social distance. Protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
The only thing that will work in the fight against #COVID19 is if every individual takes responsibility.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health says distribution of masks is on going in Kampala City,Wakiso and Mukono districts. Leaders will start reaching out to people soon.
“A total of 5,225,854 face masks have been delivered to Kampala Metropolitan Area,Wakiso and Mukono districts”,Diana Said
The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that a total of 5,225,854 face masks have been delivered to Kampala Metropolitan Area, Wakiso and Mukono Districts.
To-date, the Ministry of Health has distributed 13,455,657 face masks to 30 districts across the country.
The following districts have so far received face masks; Amuru, Kyotera, Buikwe, Arua, Adjumani, Isingiro, Rakai, Busia, Moyo, Tororo, Gulu, Hoima, Ntungamo, Kakumiro, Masaka, Kumi, Moroto, Lira, Mbarara, Yumbe, Soroti, Kamuli, Kassanda, Omoro, Jinja, Kiruhura, Kabale, Kampala Metropolitan Area, Wakiso and Mukono.
The distribution of facemasks started from the border districts and followed by districts with cities and municipalities, then districts along the cargo truck transit routes and finally others will follow.
COMPLACENCY IS A LEVEL OF FALSE SECURITY, UGANDANS LET US FOLLOW SOPs TO GUARD AGAINST COVID19 SPREADING
Politics is good as it helps people follow resources and governance issues. However politics that make people doubt or abandon responsibilities most especially when we have pandemic is not good.
Most people are being lured into a sense of false security against Standard Operating Procedures set up by Ministry of Health. They say nobody i know has been affected or died, this is the worst kind of complacency.
In many countries people are thanking the courageous health workers who have given all including abandoning their families to treat coronavirus patients. In Uganda, the health workers are being ridiculed over test kits,results and the allowances they get. Its like a crime to be a health worker.
Thousands of health workers have died of coronavirus while on duty. It sends a wrong signal to other health workers whether they signed up for this or not, are doing all they can to protect us from this virus.
While they do all this to protect us what are we doing in return is complacency based on false security that will end up endangering health workers who are expected to treat us. Any and every effort, large and small, that can keep COVID-19 at bay needs to be gratefully acknowledged and applauded.
Now Is Not the Time to Be Complacent
Preventing COVID-19 from spreading isn’t the President’s job ,Minister’s job or somebody else’s job; it’s everybody’s job. While the country was under lockdown, different groups started discussing SOPs but today are the most violators.
See what our taxis that carry people but their managers fail to sanitize or clean these vehicles after. They dont register passengers in case of contact tracing, they cried the most to be allowed work.
Some wealthy parents or middle class parents are complaining that their children are tired of home, they stay away from and want to export them to schools to handle. Some have candidates who should be moving to other levels. Pastors want Churches opened because Kikubo business center is over crowded.
When children go to school, most parents complain of unending coughs and chest pains but imagine exposing them to conditions of coronavirus. The world will open but let us not be complacent.
Hon Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health said the washing of hands has reduced from 80% plus to 56%. In markets people were forced to wash hands but that has reduced or abandoned.
In the suburbs of Kampala and up country towns people continue to celebrate, wine and dine in hiding. They think the police is not seeing them but surely our neighbors are not posting good results. People are dying but Ugandans thinks we are an island.
President Museveni said we should not hold government responsible for deaths out of complacency. You can choose to listen to your President or a politician, lawyer or another profession who will not be there to treat you when sick.
“As the Government relaxes lockdown measures, we absolutely must not forget that the infection rate in the community remains worryingly high, with new cases daily”, Dr Diana Atwine said
The risk from this highly infectious illness remains significant and if there is further spread thousands more families could lose loved ones before their time. That is why it’s vital that we have a fully functioning system of test, trace and isolate running well than complacency.
Dr Diana Atwine says we understand the impact that lockdown has had on people’s health and wellbeing and how eager people are to return to some semblance of normal life. But this must be done gradually and sensibly, and the Government must also take every measure possible to support the public and employers in stopping the spread of the virus, whether that’s in outdoor places, reuniting with friends and loved ones, or returning to work.
“Doctors have been working tirelessly during the pandemic to care for patients and save as many lives as possible, putting their own safety, health and wellbeing at risk3. And as we sadly know all too well many have already lost their own lives in the fight against this deadly virus in many countries.
Doctors working on the front line are therefore rightfully worried about the devastating impact a second peak could have for their patients, the health service and the wider population.