The lockdown as directed by the president needs to be enforced but enforcement must be managed.
By James William Mugeni
Stopping COVID-19 requires radical solidarity. Humanity will need to form an unbroken line with health workers. Humanity needs to make a bond with itself. The COVID-19 situation only needs managers it is manageable why are we focusing on the patients minus creating systems first? These systems shift and change 24/7 hence the importance of change managers.
I have seen horrible images on social media of Ugandans especially mothers being whipped by soldiers. I will say this to everyone out there. The last line of defense we humanity have on earth are women who may come in all forms. I am in the wild but back home I have my children with their mother going through hell. When things were literally not working for me, I moved on and she took over the family. I have seen pregnant mothers who you would almost want to condemn and say why now during this Covid -19 time? Mothers are carrying their pregnancies to term.
The lockdown as directed by the president needs to be enforced but enforcement must be managed. I have seen patients literally stranded and crying out, yet we got to respond, and any response of any kind is what humanity is all about.
One thing the whole world lacks is human resources. Some countries have an abundance of health workers and I am not shy about this in my country Uganda. We may lack specialists when it comes to some areas but when it comes to the lower cadres Uganda has so much manpower to deploy for this purpose.
The coronavirus is still manageable for Uganda. Uganda has Medical Clinical Officers up to now not deployed. We are still using our hospital systems. Who is not letting Ugandans know about this force? And who should deploy this force? I don't think it is ministry alone Uganda should respond and find out what is needed to deploy. Not everyone can respond to a coronavirus situation when people who are trained are redundant. Someone should call for help should this be the ministry of health? The answer seems to be NO. Some of us are in the frontline and seeing what is in the frontline makes us compare notes can we get someone to listen? I have just heard the USA has registered 60,000 volunteers in two days how many have we registered in Uganda?
The people are locked up in homes so what? In Tororo, while we researched for over ten years with the US Embassy, we had what we called HBAC-Home-based aids care where it is us health workers who went to people's homes. I managed 80 households that I still can locate in all the districts of HBAC operations.
You have stopped all the boda-bodas I wish this was to ask them to give their bikes for use now in this effort. The districts of Mbale, Tororo, Busia, Butaleja, Iganga, Bugiri are districts we managed with 300 motorbikes. We had fields officers, counsellors, doctors, clinical officers jumping on motorbikes this system can manage the lockdown besides in contact tracing.
One of the things we should not make mistakes over is the mobility of health workers across the world.
In all the districts irrespective of thin resources will need to support the operations of health workers. The transportation industry must show solidarity this is total warfare. Will you take your spot?
We need also to make sure that our doctors, nurses, and community health workers stay safe as they save lives and we try to support them too. Are we using all resources available to ensure this?
Battling the pandemic will exhaust our current stock of personal, protective equipment (masks, shields, gowns, and gloves) far too quickly. And all these items are associated with quick minds quick transport and quick communication of any kind.
It is now that we need corporate social responsibility. The lines of communication need to be clear cut out all the bureaucracy.
The president will continue coming up with directives and others from the ministry of health. Primary health care is basically community participation and involvement, intersectoral collaboration, and appropriate technology not forgetting the political will. The president's directives are a stimulant for ideas once they are outlet us test them 24/7 and give appropriate feedback running out with guns and sticks just shows at the end-use there is no forward-thinking. Managers are so important.
James William Mugeni is a Medical Clinical Officers/Certified public Manager