Lamwo, Uganda | URN | A change in environmental condition from the current dry season to the rainy season will most likely see a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 in the country, a Health Expert at the Health Ministry has predicted.
Uganda has recorded a decline in COVID-19 cases for the last two months, shortly after the January General Election the period where a surge in daily COVID-19 cases was registered.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the Programme Manager of the Uganda Expanded Programme on Immunization, says despite the decline in covid-19 cases, the population shouldn’t go on the celebration.
He instead says the country should embrace a rise in the covid-19 wave since the epidemic of viruses occurs in waves.
Dr Driwale cites that the wave of common flu in the country has always coincided with the rainy season and predicts that as it picks up in the rainy season, it will most likely come with covid-19.
Dr Driwale says the current decline in covid-19 cases may be misleading adding that the consequences soon may be dire if attention to the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures is disregarded.
“Let’s stop the celebration, let us continue to encourage our people to wear the mask, to sanitize and maintain the social distance, otherwise we will mislead people,” Dr Driwale says.
The Health Ministry launched COVID-19 vaccination last week after acquiring 940,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX Facility, a WHO initiative to ensure equal access to vaccines by all countries.
The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination targets frontline health workers.
Dr Driwale says the vaccination exercise targets groups that are prone to severe disease and death.
About 22 million people countrywide will receive the COVID-19 vaccine jab according to Dr Driwale.
He says the government has already bought cold chain equipment for all the health facilities where the COVID-19 vaccination will take place.
In Lamwo District, COVID-19 vaccination was launched on Monday 15, March 2021 at Padibe Health Center IV in Padibe Town Council. The District Health Department received over 2,440 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 12th from the Health Ministry.
Dr Denish Ochula Omoya, Lamwo District Acting Health Officer says that 425 health workers have been registered to take the COVID-19 jab. He says that the health department has established five health centres for the COVID-19 vaccination exercise which will take two to three weeks.
The centres include Padibe Health Center IV covering Padibe Town Council and Sub-county, Palabek Kal Health Center III for Palabek Kal and Palabek Gem Sub counties, Palabek Ogili Health Center III for Palabek Ogili sub-county and the refugee settlement, Lokung Health Center III for Lokung Sub-county and Madi-Opei Health Center IV to cover Paloga and Agoro Sub-counties.
Dr Ochula says the exercise was greeted with excitement by health workers adding that a total of 20 health workers have so far been vaccinated.
“To the contrary, health workers were very excited, before the actual exercise began, they asked a few questions regarding what they read on social media, we responded with scientific facts, when the vaccination exercise started, the DHO was the first person to get the shot and thereafter everyone wanted to get vaccinated,” Dr Ochula said.
At least 950,000 frontline workers, security personnel, teachers, journalists, and persons with underlying medical conditions are expected to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine jab in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the country.