By Frank Kamuntu
Namayingo: The absence of designated entry points and the porous borders on Lake Victoria have hindered the success of the fight against Covid 19 in Namayingo district.
The district whose dotted islands border Kenya and Tanzania has had it’s health facilities stretched beyond their capacity to provide basic health care and enforce compulsory testing of foreigners.
Local leaders told the visiting Parliamentary COVID-19 technical committee led by Hon. Ssentongo Robina that the district did not receive funds for quarantine centres.
It was also revealed that the medical staff at Lolwe Island do not have accommodation hence sleeping in turns in a make shift shelter, not only that but also they don’t have protective gear equipments.
It was also noted that the island runs an isolation centre for COVID-19 suspects but does not have a budget to provide meals and beddings to the suspects.
Ochan Daniel, the In-charge Lolwe Island Health Center (II) told the committee that the island recently quarantined 89 COVID-19 suspects but all were advised to sail back to Tanzania even before results from their samples were returned.
“Recently we quarantined 89 COVID-19 suspects but all were advised to sail back to Tanzania even before results from their samples were returned because we lacked food and shelter for them” Ochan said.
Sigulu County MP, Hon Abbot George Ouma re-echoed the need for government to have special consideration for the island communities.
“The policy by government to have one Health Center III in each sub county will hinder service delivery in the Islands” Abbot said.
Hon Abbot added that the communities are miles apart and mothers now opt for the services of traditional birth attendants and herbalists. “Each of the Islands requires a health centre,” he said.
In the same spirit, Namayingo district leaders appealed to government to upgrade the health facility at the district into a referral hospital to handle the challenging health care problems.
They also tasked government to supply the much needed masks for the community and protective gear required by medical staff.
The Taskforce on COVID-19 was named by the Speaker of Parliament to provide oversight on the activities undertaken by government to fight the pandemic.