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Pallisa: COVID-19 patient dies as district lacks oxygen facility

Mukko Samwiri laid to rest by the COVID-19 team from Pallisa government hospital

As many patients continue to battle the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, residents of Pallisa district are living in much fear since the district has no oxygen facility despite the increase in cases.

A one Okoler Opio Lo Amanu the spokesperson of the Democratic Party (DP) in opposition regrets losing his relative to COVID-19 due to the unpreparedness of the district to fight the pandemic.

Below, Opio gives an account of how they struggled to save a life but in vein.

Today, we have sent off a member of the SDA Church and also a brother in law of our family in Osupa village, Pallisa Town Council in Pallisa District who succumbed to COVID-19 last night.

Muko Samwiri would be living if we had an oxygen facility in Pallisa General Hospital but because the health workers were unable to help without oxygen they referred him to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, it takes averagely one hour to drive from Pallisa to Soroti but the ambulance wasn’t available either. Muko died but a very painful death.

Just yesterday, I had earlier alone visited Pallisa General Hospital to ascertain how prepared they were as a facility to handle COVID 19 Patients. I got troubled to learn that though with a ward earmarked for COVID 19 patients, there was not even one and yet Pallisa district has registered over 210 cases with at least 10 deaths.

On inquiring to know why it so happened,  one employee of the Hospital who prefers anonymity told me that they lacked Personal Protective equipments (PPE) to safe guard the health workers and subsequently the patients suffering from other illnesses to contract COVID-19, so whoever that tested positive of COVID-19 was sent back to their communities which is, in my opinion, not only a ticket to death but also exposes the community members to the pandemic since majority dwellers are naive about how to safely manage COVID-19 patients.

When I inquired further to establish whether or not the health workers pay home visits to their home referrals, I was told that they have a challenge of transport unfortunately, thus, causing an inadequacy in their visits.

DP Spokesperson Opio Lo Amanu

Now on the part of burial, what you see in the photographs attached hereunder is the COVID-19 burial team of Pallisa district and the polythene bags placed around their bodies form the protection gears, that is all they have. It is called improvising,  this in essence exhibits the level of preparedness at which Uganda sits as a country to manage the whole situation in regard to the prevention of the spread, management and burials accruing from COVID-19 cases.

This team by the way is from Pallisa General Hospital, we wish to appreciate them for the efforts and creativity of improvising however government should immediately furnish the team with enough personal protection equipments to ensure their safety and that of the community members.

Lastly, I believe and strongly so that this level of unpreparedness and recklessness in managing COVID-19 on the part of government killed my muko, though he could be on oxygen by now, he would not be dead.

The negligence on the part of government which has been, by the way, collecting taxes from Muko Samwiri to among others do construct a robust health system to provide quality health care to Ugandans has killed him, I could simply say if I should that the government of Uganda killed muko.

Cognizant of the many cases of this nature happening in Uganda, I decided to bring it to the light of the world.

May God comfort the bereaved persons including those whose loved ones died under similar and or related circumstances.

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