Data recently released by the health ministry shows that in the week between January 10 and January 16, a total of 76 COVID-19 related deaths were reported with 3,557 new infections, yet in the previous week when the third wave peaked, a total of 41deaths out of 7,139 new infections were reported.
According to Dr Richard Muhindo, the Principal Investigator on the study, they surveyed 100 male sex workers aged 17 and above who had been involved in the trade for at least two years. When asked about syphilis testing, many said they were unaware of it and that there was a low-risk perception even among those who knew.
NMS General Manager Moses Kamabare says they were asked by the Ministry of Health to put everything else on hold to distribute COVID-19 and Polio vaccines in preparation for the ongoing mass immunization.
The number of deaths remains stable, but the agency is concerned about the impact the variant is having on already exhausted health workers and overburdened health systems. Although Omicron may be less severe, for Dr Tedros “the narrative that it is mild is misleading, hurts the overall response and costs more lives.”
According to a Ministry of health survey carried out prior to the start of the campaign, only 24,000 cold chain carriers were available in the country. This means that about 56,000 out of the 80,000 teams deployed to conduct the polio vaccination exercise nationwide didn’t get the carriers, which are used to safely carry the vaccines.
Kyabayinze however, says that they have so far managed to upload the data of three million people who took the vaccine between March when the country launched the COVID-19 vaccination drive and October, adding that their certificates are available.
Along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance GAVI, and partners, WHO have led the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history with deliveries to 144 countries to date.
Dr Byarugaba said that it was disturbing that politicians don't want to pay for hospital services and expect peasants to pay for the same, adding that although the hospital is often blamed for not raising revenue, all efforts in this direction have been frustrated by Ministers, Members of Parliament and other political leaders.
In 2019, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the National Drug Authority (NDA) to cancel licences of the two private pharmacies operating in Mulago. However, the directive, according to Dr. Baterana, was temporarily stayed following legal advice from the Attorney General.
Sylvia Nabuddo, the Deputy General Secretary, Uganda Medical Laboratory Technology Association (UMLTA) told journalists on Friday that they held a meeting with Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa early in the week who promised to address their grievances.
WHO said that this marked the shortest surge since the pandemic began on the continent, where total cases have exceeded 10.2 million. Recorded cases of infection show that the weekly number plateaued in the seven days leading up to January 9, from the previous week.
David Ssenfuka, the herbalist who has been dispensing this herb, having picked knowledge from his deceased grandmother told URN in an interview that they held a meeting with the National Drug Authority on Tuesday, to guide them on what they require to start trying the drug which has been code named SD2018 on humans.
The first drug, baricitinib, is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor- a class of drugs used to treat autoimmune conditions, blood and bone marrow cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the WHO Guideline Development Group, it is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical disease in combination with corticosteroids.
Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, the Incident Commander of COVID-19 at the Ministry of Health told URN in an interview that the vaccines that require very low temperature were taken to the Acholi region in anticipation that people would use them in vain.
Janipher Kasisiri, the Director of Kampala Quality Kindergarten, says that following the full reopening of school she has been receiving calls from parents informing her of their decision to push the learners to the primary one class.
WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that the huge spike is being driven by the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries. However, he added, that despite the number of cases, the weekly reported deaths have remained stable since October last year, at an average of 48,000.