Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the health minister while addressing a virtual meeting on Tuesday admitted that they are facing challenges to trace the patients.
The Ministry of Health is struggling to track recovered COVID-19
patients under the home care treatment program.
While the health ministry has records of COVID-19 patients
admitted within the public and private healthcare system, it has very little or
no information on the patients seeking treatment from their homes.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the health ministry
while addressing a virtual meeting on Tuesday admitted that they are facing
challenges to trace the patients.
“We are losing track of people who test positive but remain home and undergo treatment. We know how many people are tested and those who are in
hospitals and also those who die but we do not know those who are home or where
they live, homes are," he said.
According to Mwebesa, the only information they have on the patients is where
they were tested from, their contact information and names.
Home care was introduced in September by the health ministry following the congestion
of treatment facilities due to increases in community cases.
With only 4,000 prepared beds at treatments facilities and over
9,490 active patients, the move was welcomed.
Under home care, people who test positive for the disease but are
not asymptomatic or do not have any other underlying conditions such as
diabetes, asthma or even high blood pressure stay home in isolation for at least 14 days or until the test negative for the disease.
This way, treatment facilities are left for a moderate and severe case of the
disease that requires hospitalization.
Ideally during home care, the health ministry is supposed to follow up with phone
calls to monitor the progress of the sick. However, many patients who have
undergone home care say no one from the health ministry has contacted them.
Mary Atim, a hospital cleaner who tested positive but opted for home care says
that no one from the Ministry called her. Only staff from the hospital she
worked at checked in on her to monitor her condition.
“No one called me. I tested positive in October but I got no phone call. Only
my employees in Ntinda called to check to see if I was fine,” she said.
Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Curative Services at the ministry of health
says that it is hard to get in touch with people because at times the contact
information provided by patients is not correct.