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Gulu Revives Village COVID–19 Taskforces to Monitor Home Based Care Patients

William Onyai, the Gulu District Health Educator says the Village Taskforces Chaired by Village Chairpersons became dormant towards the end of last year when the rate of infections went down and that they have been revived late last week to monitor the COVID -19 patients reviving treatment from home.
Health Workers carying out rapid COVID -19 tests on students who returned from Kampala -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

Audio 3

Gulu District has revived the Village COVID -19 Taskforces to help monitor patients under home-based care. The intervention comes after the patients under home-based care were found to be flouting the guidelines.

William Onyai, the Gulu District Health Educator says the Village Taskforces Chaired by Village Chairpersons became dormant towards the end of last year when the rate of infections went down.

He says with the funding from World Health Organization through African Medical and Research Foundation –AMREF, all the Village Health Team –VHTs were trained on their safety as they monitor the patients and that VHTs shall be secretaries to the chairpersons of the Taskforces.

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According to Onyai, as the Village Taskforces monitor the patients, the health workers shall also be in touch with them through phone calls as required under the home-based care guidelines so that in case some of their conditions worsen, they are referred to the hospitals for further management.

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Gulu District initially had a total of 476 COVID -19 patients under home-based care but currently has 383 patients after 93 were discharged upon recovery.

Dr James Elima, the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Director says they held a meeting with the Gulu District Health Department where they resolved that the patients under home-based care be linked to the nearest health facilities for care.

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Elima appealed to the patients under home-based care to avoid unnecessary movements since such acts spread the virus to the community and that they should keep in touch with the VHTs so that in case their conditions worsen, they are referred to the Regional Referral Hospital for specialized care.

Joseph Echotu, a VHT attached to Laroo Health Center III in Gulu City told URN in an interview that they started work by sensitizing the community against stigmatizing the patients under home-based care and that they are also monitoring them to ensure that they don't move outside their homes before they are confirmed to have recovered.