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Minister rushes to Lira as medic tests positive for COVID-19

By Hudson Apunyo

Added 31st May 2020 01:19 PM

This is the first frontline health worker to test positive for the virus in the whole country.

Minister rushes to Lira as medic tests positive for COVID-19

Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng addressing health workers at Lira Regional Hospital on Saturday. She presented the facility with two motorcycles and an ambulance

This is the first frontline health worker to test positive for the virus in the whole country.

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, on Saturday morning, rushed to Lira district after a frontline health worker tested positive for COVID-19.
 
This is the first frontline health worker to test positive for the virus in the whole country.
 
The male health worker tested positive early this week and was on Thursday transferred to Entebbe Grade B Hospital for better management.
 
An unspecified number of people who are believed to have had contact with the health worker have been quarantined at the Lira facility. Lira Hospital authorities declined to give details.
 
 ealth inister r ane uth ceng consulting ira ospital irector r tephen bbo Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng consulting Lira Hospital Director Dr Stephen Obbo

 

Lira Regional Referral Hospital treatment centre opened early this month and within five days, it was filled to capacity with 21 patients, mainly from the entry border point of Elegu in Amuru district.
 
Some of the senior health officials who accompanied Aceng included, Dr. Henry Kajumbula, the chairperson f infection prevention at the ministry; Dr. William Wolodria, the head of case management, COVID-19, Dr Charles Olaro, the director of curative services; Dr. Henry B Mwebasa, the director-general of health services; Justus Cherop, the president of Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union and Dr Richard Idro, the president of Uganda Medical Association.
 
The team is in the area to help train the staffs of the facility on handling COVID-19 cases.
 
Dr Stephen Obbo, the director of Lira Regional Referral Hospital, said one staff got exposed to the virus but precaution was made and he was moved to a safe place.
 
He said the matter was handled quickly and the patient has since been counselled.
 
 ealth inister r ane uth ceng commissions the ambulance she gave ira hospital Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng commissions the ambulance she gave Lira hospital

 

Aceng said she is concerned that Lira has registered the first health worker infected.
 
Obbo encouraged the staff to be strong and continue to support each other and take precaution.  
 
He said the patients in Lira are mildly asymptomatic. He explained that there had been a challenge of handling young men who do not believe that they have the virus.
 
He said they have a staffing constraint, with only two specialists including himself.
 
The ministry sent three doctors and nurses but only one nurse has reported. The doctors need to be supported by senior colleagues, according to Obbo.
 
Aceng said she came with a senior health team, "to identify with you and to reassure you that we are in this together. We will walk the journey together, every life of a health worker matters and must be protected."
 
She said this is a war that is being fought by the entire country but the health worker is at the frontline.
 
She informed the gathering that the National Taskforce that was meeting at the same time was aware of what happened in Lira hospital and they are concerned about the health workforce.
 
Aceng implored the health workers to be very careful and protect themselves. "What about you, what are you doing to protect yourself?" she asked.
 
She urged them to follow the procedures laid down in the guidelines and avoid mistakes.
 
Aceng urged the health workers to make preventive measures part of themselves as President Museveni has always reiterated.
 
he ambulance and two motorcycles handed over to ira ospital                               The ambulance and two motorcycles handed over to Lira Hospital

 

Aceng who once worked at Lira Hospital up to the level of Director said she has noted the constraints at the hospital. "The constraints of Lira are not new. We have attempted several times to send health workers here," she said. "Few come, the majority don't come."
 
Aceng gave two motorcycles and an ambulance to help Lira in the fight against CoVID-19.
 

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