By Martin E. Kalikolaki
Covid-19 has claimed many lives in the world since January 2020 especially in countries like India, Brazil, USA, South Africa but in Uganda, it’s been handled well due to the strong leadership at the Ministry of Health till Uganda was recognized as one of the top countries in fighting Covid-19 with a lower crude morbidity and mortality rate.
As a Public Health Student, I acknowledge that it takes a flexible and very responsive health system to curb such an infection that has conquered many developed countries including the known superpowers of the world.
The success we have in Uganda is attributed to the combined efforts of all Ugandans but majorly on the technical team of the ministry of health led by Dr Atwine Diana. Ministry of health has gone an extra mail to ensure that the six core pillars of a competent health system are efficiently active and at a winning side. A few things may not be in order but great is the work done and it should be recognized rather than just trod on by unpatriotic, politically moved, selfish and power greedy individuals.
The exponentially high incident rates of Covid-19 is greatly attributed to the uncontrolled defiant campaigns where many candidates intentionally refused to follow the Standard Operating Procedures of Covid-19 as per the Public Health statutory instruments enacted in 2020. It’s therefore such selfish persons that lagged the country’s efforts to eliminate the infectious virus in vain.
The morbidity and mortality spiked high a few weeks after concluding the elections because of uncontrolled community transmission that occurred during campaigns and elections not forgetting the unprecedented demonstrations.
Amidst Standard Operating Procedures’ defiance of the public, Campaigns and limited resources MoH has fought the Covid-19 outbreak continuously. Applaud should be given to Dr Atwine Daina that stayed in the driving sit during the political transitioning to ensure that the lethal and contagious virus doesn’t take advantage of such would be relaxed times of the country.
However, a sector of few people have chosen to disesteem and belittle the efforts of MoH due to their political and personal rationales. It is preposterous that a small click of people tend to defame such patriotic and hardworking citizens of Uganda that have stayed on the Frontline for such long and have prioritized the lives of Ugandans.
Many achievements we should be proud to congratulate the ministry of health together with all Ugandans are briefly articulated: Covid-19 testing hubs are now accessible all over the country; PCR testing, Antigen RDTS and Gene expert testing are distributed in all district to aid in the testing and treatment of Covid-19. A total of 3702,048 masks were distributed in both communities and schools.
Over 1000 beds were imported and many more are being manufactured locally in the support of BUBU. A number of sleeping tents have too been installed in health centers around the country to increase on the space for Covid-19 Treatment Units. Oxygen Plants have been installed in all regional referral hospitals with eight more oxygen plants in procurement process to boost the existing capacity for regional referral hospitals.
Over one million Ugandans have received the Covid-19 vaccine jab in the continuing vaccination exercise and expecting more vaccines to hit the targeted threshold for the herd immunity.
Intensive Care Unit beds have been installed in hospitals such as Mulago NRH and Regional Referral Hospitals of Lira, Jinja, St. Mary’s Lacor, Mbale, Entebbe, Kawempe, Mbarara, Soroti, Naguru, Kabale, Hoima, Arua, Bombo, Fort portal, Moroto, Mubende, and Gulu to support critical Covid-19 cases. Over 100 ambulances have been acquired by MoH including the boat ambulances that were distributed to aid transportation of patients and the dead.
With all that in mind and more yet to be put to the public domain, why would a sober thinking Ugandan belittle such patriotic and effectively functioning health system under competent leadership? I feel pain when a section of sleepy idiots fight Dr. Atwine for her motherly heart in the fight against Covid-19!
Martin E. Kalikolaki
Student of Public Health Sciences.