By Goodluck Musinguzi
Uganda’s health workers have done so much in the last Five months to save us against coronavirus that has ravaged many parts of the world. Close to 40 health workers are now infected with COVID-19 in Uganda while Africa has gone passed 10,000.
Hon Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health said Kampala City is the most affected reporting 20 health workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
In an emotional appeal to Ugandans, Hon Jane Ruth Aceng said Ugandans should be worried when health workers get sick because every one in the system is needed incase the country gets overwhelmed.
“This, in essence signals tougher times ahead and thus a much deeper need for compliance to the Presidential directives , the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures and the statutory instruments in place for this public health threat”, Dr Aceng said.
She added that since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Kampala on the 23rd March 2020, a cumulative total of 160 confirmed cases have been registered. Of the cases registered in Kampala, 56 are imported ,55 are returnees, 1 Driver,while 104 are locally transmitted(contacts 35,Alerts 49 and health workers are 20).
Hon Aceng revealed that 79 cases have been reported in the last 14 days , while 23 community cases were registered in one week from 28th July 2020 to 3rd August 2020.
However, in the following week starting with 4th August 2020 to 12th August 2020, the confirmed cases more than doubled to 56. This trend implies that we shall be seeing the number of cases going up in Kampala City.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health has sent a message of solidarity to all health workers in Uganda. The message is titled “My Note to fellow health workers”.
“Dear fellow workers, protect yourselves from COVID-19 because your families need you too. As you offer services to our people, ensure that you follow the preventive measures at all times”, Dr Diana said.
Uganda was doing well as many countries regarded it a miracle in the fight against coronavirus and its healthcare leaders were praised. In other countries people use Uganda as an example asking what has failed to be done in order to contain the spread of this pandemic.
The most affected countries have people questioning how their leaders lost the plot while those less affected questioning why no one has died. Ugandans were posting messages that dont encourage health workers, they chose to politicize COVID-19, it has come to affect us badly.
Four months ago, all countries put up measures as they reported their first cases but infections have increased in most countries while others reduce them.
Kenya reports more cases in two or three days more than what Uganda has recorded in the last four months. Its common to read or hear some Ugandans questioning whether coronavirus is there as it has not killed any. Those who said COVID-19 doesn’t kill have since hidden themselves.
Kenya media was forced to to write stories entitled Covid: Lives and stories of the ones we have lost. It came after many people started asking , do you know anyone who has died of Covid-19?
The media published faces and names of Kenyans whose story has come to a painful halt and whose dreams are dead.
Uganda has managed to flatten the curve but the political season is threatening the milestones achieved. The Electoral Commission has come up with guidelines that will not compromise SOPs or increase infections.
7500,000 people have died as of today with millions of people infected with coronavirus. Ugandans want to be left with freedom because no one has died.
Some vulgarize numbers of covid cases found positive without knowing when it attacks tears will not explain their pain.
Uganda is welcoming its nationals that were stranded around the world though its airport remains closed for commercial planes. Only United Nations, Cargo and emergency services are allowed to use airspace.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus , the World Health Organisation Chief says there will be no return to the “old normal” for the foreseeable future. But there’s a roadmap to a situation we can control #Covid19 and get on with our lives.
“No matter where a country is in its epidemic curve, it is never too late to take decisive action”, Tedros said.
Whats the role of media in covering politicians who have vowed not to respect SOPs but hold meetings, processions and rallies in the name of the vote.
Is my vote worth my life or my life worth a vote? Bobi Wine sang a song calling for social distancing and washing hands but today he is doing the opposite.
Media leaders must discuss whether to continue exposing journalists or other people.
“The growth we are seeing in COVID-19 cases in Africa is placing an ever-greater strain on health services across the continent,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“This has very real consequences for the individuals who work in them, and there is no more sobering example of this than the rising number of health worker infections.”