By Goodluck Musinguzi
Looking for mistakes in a system or friend is a a tiring job. Some Ugandans have been looking for anything that can discredit health workers or demonize them.
Great Britain is among many countries with enough resources but were not ready when COVID-19 hit the world unexpectedly shaking the foundations of health care systems.
According the Atlantic News Channel, Britain was not the strong, successful, resilient country it imagined, but a poorly governed and fragile one. The truth is, Britain was sick before it caught the coronavirus.
Like America, the country failed to live up to its reputation as a pillar of pandemic readiness. Mid week, Britains major Newspapers were up in arms with government demanding for answers regarding testing for coronavirus.
The Daily Mail had a screeming headline, BORIS: WE’VE FAILED,the Mail had warned of a looming test crisis five months ago. Now, humiliatingly the Prime Minister admits Ministers still cant deliver.
The Daily Telegrapy reports ONLY SELECT FEW TO GET RATIONED COVID TESTS
i-news said SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE WITHOUT VIRUS TESTS and Daily Mirror said TORIES AREN’T TESTING.
In Uganda, Hon Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health plus her hardworking Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine have been building the countries testing capacity with partners.
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary says they have been hit by a number of epidemics. Before Covid-19 came Uganda was battling Ebola virus not to enter as it killed more than 4,000 Congolese in the Eastern Side that borders Uganda.
She says every person entering Uganda was being tested and contact stressing was robust. Even Congolese who attempted to enter through polous borders with sickness would be found in communities, isolated, contacts identified.
Dr Diana said we had machines to test many people in 100 hubs, we have imported only one machine since Covid-19 pandemic reached Uganda.
When covid-19 came on scene it created panic across the world as many countries started looking for basic machines, testing kits and reagents recommended by World Health Organisation.
Doing a bad test everyday is not the same as doing a good test once, Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says she chose a diagnostic technique recommended by World Health Organisation than cheap and affordable pushed by middlemen in Kampala.
Dr Diana Atwine said in Clinical laboratory Testing there is a simple law that is followed, Cheap,Fast and Accurate. She said most times you will have only two traits.
She said most people pick the first two Cheap and Fast but Accuracy is always out of reach if you mishandle process of procuring. When Coronavirus pandemic spread every sane officer or government would be a steward for ACCURANCY.
Dr Diana Atwine said PCR test is one of the most high end priced and time consuming as it takes a minimum of 4 hours even in highly subsidized tests like HIV.
Dr Diana said the price of PCR ranges from 11 dollars(for HIV which has been highly subsidized) to 120 dollars for Hepatitis B. Therefore its misleading to say that these test kits are inexpensive and fast.
She said before coronavirus pandemic started Uganda government had pre-existing PCR equipment already in place. These include Roche at CPHL, Gene Xpert machines all over the country.
aBi at Makerere University and UVRI, mobile labs that use altona. its only Abbott that has been imported in the country starting last August 2020.
World Health Organisation(WHO)’s latest repeated assessment has the latest guidelines issued on 11th September 2020, continues to emphasize the use of PCR as opposed to the so called Cheap, affordable being pushed by middle men and a few leaders who google and make conclusions.
In Great Britain faced with the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s leaders asked their people to do three things, captured in one pithy slogan: “Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
Britain was the only major country in the world to make protecting its National Health Service a central goal. Signs and placards went up outside people’s homes, declaring their appreciation. The words thank you nhs can now be seen on sidewalks and soccer jerseys, in children’s bedrooms and even, until recently, the windows of 10 Downing Street.
In Uganda, a few politicians have led a hate speech on health Managers criticizing every thing, making allegations that make Ministry of Health the worst in the World yet it was among the most prepared in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional disturbances, illness and even death.
Furthermore, working in stressful environments makes health workers more prone to errors which can lead to patient harm. Therefore, the World Patient Safety Day 2020
In Uganda, Hon Jane Ruth Aceng , Minister of Health said on this Patients Safety Day, ” I want to appreciate and salute all health workers for your commitment, resilience and relentless efforts towards improving service delivery and keeping patients safe, healthy and at the center of all that you do”.
As health workers, let us continue educating patients on their rights, sensitizing them on prevention and protecting ourselves while we administer care.
World Patient Safety day on Thursday 17th September helps us continue making Patient Safety a Priority.
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary said its great to see our health workers doing their best in circumstances. I honor them for making sure patients safety in Uganda is made a reality.
“We trained our staffs as the Coronavirus pandemic spread to handle the safety of patients using PPEs. We have teams that keep going around to make sure they give support to colleagues and extra advice on protecting staff and patients.
Those that like criticizing can continue but should endeavor to compare else where.
On the third count which is testing for coronavirus, Britain did not succeed, certainly compared with almost any other developed nation. Britain did not save as many lives as others. It had the money, the tools, to respond as well as any, yet more of its people died than anywhere else in Europe.
Uganda is among the few countries that have lost few people and tested close to half a million people not withstanding challenges of supply.
Dr Diana Atwine said they had to borrow testing kits from a neighboring in East Africa as their stock was running out and yet suppliers were under pressure supply in time.