The Ministry of Health, on Thursday October 29, received a donation of various supplies like Personal Protective Equipment from Living Goods, a non-profit organization aiming at build sustainable community health systems, at a ceremony held at the ministry headquarters in Kampala.
Upon receiving the donation, the Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng remarked that although a total of 767 health worker infections of COVID-19 have been recorded to date with 7 fatalities, only one health worker got the infection within the line of duty.
“The other health workers got this infection from the communities. Health workers are also at risk,” she said adding that utmost vigilance must be observed as they carry on with their service.
She applauded Living Goods for their support in boosting the Covid-19 response.
“I would like to appreciate Living Goods, a partner that has been working with us in the health sector for a long time to promote community health and ensure that the community members participate in their health and also embrace the fact that it is only when communities are knowledgeable that they can understand what health promotion means,” she said.
Aceng also revealed that the donation is not the first during this time of the pandemic; as Living Goods gave a contribution for Lira district and many other communities.
“This will help to support our health workers and also the community people to continue implementing the SOPs,” she said.
Christine Namayanja, the Living Goods Country Director said that the donation includes Personal Protective Equipment for Village Health Teams and health facilities.
24,000 K95 masks will go to 7 districts including Kyotera, Buikwe KCCA, Wakiso, Namisindwa, Kalangala, Masaka.
Oyam district was allocated 144,000 N95 masks for health workers, cloth masks for VHTs, 30 hand washing stations for health facilities, 30 boxes of soap for health facilities, 2,500 COVID-19 VHT guidelines, and 2,100 Information Education Communication (IEC) materials.
Dr Diana Nambatya Nsubuga, the deputy country director of living goods explained that the donation is targeted to mainly 7 districts due to the high burden in these areas.
“The boarder districts of this country have had higher numbers of COVID-19 cases. Largely, in various communities, community health workers have continued to give services but most of them don’t have Personal Protective Equipment. Therefore, the donation will ensure that community health workers offer services while protecting themselves with gloves, masks, and using hand washing facilities, for continuity of services to happen,” she explained.
She also noted that since community transmissions are on the rise, the role of VHTs cannot be undermined.
“Now that we are emphasizing home based care for asymptomatic cases, we need VHTs to be on board. However, such VHTs can’t provide this kind of care without PPEs,” she said.
Dr. Aceng encouraged people to continue following SOPs as a way of preventing Covid-19.
“We still need people to follow the standard operating measures like washing hands with soap all the time, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing but also reporting early to the facilities if any symptoms occur,” she concluded.