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Kitgum Registers Decline in Covid-19 Testing

Simon Knox Okongo, the Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person says for nearly a week now, only about 20 people voluntarily turned up for RDT and PCR test in three designated Covid-19 testing centers.
A lady undergoes covid-19 testing at Kitgum General Hospital recently.

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Health Officials in Kitgum District have raised concerns about the drastic decline in the numbers of locals turning up for voluntary testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Simon Knox Okongo, Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person says for nearly a week now, only about 20 people voluntarily turned up for RDT and PCR tests in three designated Covid-19 testing centres.

The health facilities where covid-19 tests are being conducted are Kitgum General Hospital, St Joseph’s Hospital Kitgum all within Kitgum Municipality and Namokora Health centre IV in Namokora Town Council. 

Okongo says the low turn up for the covid-19 test is greatly affecting contact tracing within the community which in combating covid-19 spread. 

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He says the situation has also made it hard to understand the status of covid-19 whether its rising or declining within the Municipality, Town councils, and Sub-counties.

Some health workers however attribute the low test due to the poor facilities, especially at government health facilities.

Innocent Rubangakene, a Laboratory scientist at Kitgum General Hospital says they don’t have room for conducting a covid-19 test.

Rubangakene says people who turn up are tested under a veranda of an already dilapidated building. He called on the responsible authorities to intervene and improve the testing environment at the hospital.

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Rubangakene also noted that they have always been facing challenges of limited quantities of Personal Protective Equipment- PPEs which have persistently affected covid-19 testing and sample collection.

A total of 34 people tested positive for covid-19 last week alone within Kitgum Municipality according to reports from the District Health Department. 

Dr Geoffrey Okello, Acting Medical Superintendent at Kitgum General Hospital says by last week, 29 patients were under home-based care treatment. He says at least 75 patients have been discharged from Home-based care treatment since the start of the second wave of covid-19 in Kitgum District.

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