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Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Health Workers Low in Northern Uganda

In the Gulu district for instance, although the vaccines were meant for front line health workers, of the 241, only 158 had taken both the first and second dose.
Health workers in the newly established Yumbe Hospital

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Members of Parliament of the Northern Uganda COVID-19 task force have cited vaccine hesitancy among health workers, and the lack of specialists as the biggest challenge facing the region.

The task force chaired by Koboko Municipality MP Dr Charles Ayume visited 41 districts in Northern Uganda and West Nile where they found out that in most of the districts, the covid-19 vaccine uptake is low among health workers.

In some of the districts, only 60 per cent of the health workers have been vaccinated, with many of them saying they were not prepared to take the vaccine according to the MPs observation.

In the Gulu district for instance, although the vaccines were meant for frontline health workers, of the 241, only 158 had taken both the first and second dose.

According to Dr Ayume, the seven health workers that died at Gulu Hospital were not vaccinated.

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The task force also cited a lack of specialists in the region. According to Ayume, it is embarrassing that in the whole of Northern Uganda from Karamoja to West Nile, there are only two Anaesthesiologists.

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Dr Samuel Opio, Kole North MP who is also a member of the task force says they are at least over 500 people in the different districts who have not been vaccinated.

The committee also found that although the Regional Referral Hospitals have oxygen plants, they lack  oxygen cylinders, oxygen supply among others. In Moyo hospital, for instance, the facility has only one oxygen cylinder.

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The Obongi County MP George Bhoka Didi says that there is a need for heightened surveillance, especially in the border districts. He adds that there is a big challenge in the enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs among others.

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The Parliament Covid-19 taskforce led by chairperson Abdu Katuntu is next week expected to present a report to Parliament on the state of the COVID-19 Intervention in different parts of the country.  

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