Mukono, Uganda | URN | Mukono district COVID-19 task force has suspended all burials until the bodies are examined for the coronavirus disease.
This will be implemented by the Village Health Teams (VHTs) and Local Council (LC I) chairpersons who have been tasked to report each death in their localities.
Dr. Stephen Mulindwa, the Mukono District Health Officer (DHO) says that the initiative is intended to save residents because of failure to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and turn in large numbers for funeral vigils and burials.
He says that there are higher chances that people are succumbing to COVID-19 without being tested because they opt for clinics and dispensaries, which lack the capacity to test for COVID-19.
The district through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has secured 150 bicycles and smartphones for VHTs to monitor their communities. JICA has also offered Shillings 72 million and two motorcycles to support the community intervention and management.
The district has designated a specific health worker at every sub-county to examine bodies whenever there is a need. Statistics at the DHO’s office indicate that 556 of the 6,705 people tested in the district since March turned out positive.
Dr. Mulindwa says that they have been registering on average five COVID-19 positive cases each day since April this year. All positive cases are referred to Naguru, Kiruddu, Entebbe and Mulago referral hospital while others are put on home-based care depending on their condition.
Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, the Mukono District LC5 Chairperson has appealed to the Ministry of Health to procure at least one ambulance for Mukono General Hospital to help in the evacuation of patients from communities.
Some of the residents have welcomed the initiative by the district COVID-19 task force. They however ask the authorities not to impose any charges for examining bodies.
George William Ssemakula, a resident of Nabuti Mukono notes that what starts as good at times ends being abused by officers who resort to extortion.