Uganda’s government has been running public campaigns informing people how to prevent themselves from catching the Coronavirus. Past campaigns have successfully helped to limit cholera, ebola, and haemorrhaging fever outbreaks. Will the formula work again?
Its perhaps iconic that Capital’s isolation centre for suspected coronavirus patients is at the China- Uganda Friendship Hospital. This complex was built with a grant from the Chinese government. Next to the main gate is a set of temporary buildings made out of colligated iron sheets. The reception is closed and there are no patients in recent weeks. By 14th March 2020, two people had been housed at the Hospital suspected to had the virus but later tested negative. However, how prepared was the Country to handle the pandemic when it finally struck?
Much as the country had built expertise in tackling outbreaks like ebola, the covid19 requires more vigilance. With the strategy of quickly identifying someone with signs and symptoms, the country will minimize the outbreak of the disease. However, like many parts of Africa, Uganda’s health is weak and cities like Kampala are overcrowded. Getting the virus from getting to the general population is the best option.
On the 30th March 2020, the President issued more guidelines in which the country has shut down businesses and sealed people indoors. The government promised to give foodstuffs to keep the masses on life support. It is the most dramatic measures since the first case was reported in Uganda on 22nd March 2020. The challenge is covid19 spreads like wildfire especially if there is free movement of people, the carriers of the virus. What is clear is that the government needs to be better prepared for the next pandemic; so, too, if invests in public health.
To download the President’s guidelines on Covid19 issued on 30th March 2020, follow this link.