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1,600 VHTs Trained to Monitor COVID-19 Homebased Care Patients in Kitgum

Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person Simon Knox Okongo says that the training was aimed at easing follow up of COVID-19 patients within the community which are sometimes not easily and frequently accessed by health workers.

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A total of 1,671 Village Health Teams (VHTs) in Kitgum District have received training on monitoring COVID-19 patients undergoing home-based care and isolation. The VHTs selected from all the villages in the district were trained by health experts from the district health department with support from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point Person Simon Knox Okongo says that the training was aimed at easing follow up of COVID-19 patients within the community which are sometimes not easily and frequently accessed by health workers.

Okongo notes that shortage of health workers have made it impossible in some instances for health workers to effectively follow up covid-19 patients in home-based care adding that with the training, VHTs will be best suited.

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He says the VHTs who have now received reporting tools from the World Health Organization through AMREF will be expected to make weekly reports on the COVID-19 situation in their areas. Okongo says that the reporting tool will allow the VHTs to record details of patients, their location, days spent in isolation, and status of their health which is sent to the head of VHTs in sub-county, the Sub-county health assistant before it reaches district health officials.

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According to Okongo, the weekly reports made by the VHTs will help the COVID-19 surveillance team in tracking how many COVID-19 patients are undergoing isolation from home adding that it will ease the work of the case management teams.

Last week, health officials raised concern that the numbers of people turning up for testing in three designated health facilities in the district had significantly reduced, making it impossible to understand the COVID-19 spread trends. The health facilities are Kitgum General Hospital, St Joseph’s Hospital, and Namokora Health Center IV where testing had fallen below the expected 80 persons daily.

Okongo however says more health facilities have now been permitted to conduct covid-19 tests in the district. the facilities include Omiya Anyima Health Center III, Akuna Laber Health Center III, Kitgum Matidi Health Center III, Pajimo Health Center III, Loborom Health Center III, and Bregma medical centre.

By last week a total of 25 patients were undergoing home-based care treatment within Kitgum District. 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. Statistics from the District Health department shows a total of 383 people tested positive for covid-19 out of 2,959 tests conducted since its outbreak in March last year.

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