Gulu City Resident Commissioner, Maj Santo Okot Lapolo has
disagreed with the Management of Gulu College of Health Sciences over the relocation
of COVID-19 patients.
The college with over 900 students operates two campuses; one is adjacent to
Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and another at the former Laroo Boarding School
of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) returnees. Over 300 final year students are
expected to report back to the school this week.
In March, Gulu District Covid-19 Task Force designated the two campuses as a treatment
center for COVID-19 patients and quarantined persons.
Grace Aninge, the Principal of the College says they want to use their space in
both campuses to manage social distancing rules as a recommended standard
operation procedure (SOP).
However, the Task Force headed by Lapolo has disagreed saying the school
should operate only one campus and another campus should continue to host
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According to Lapolo, the Task Force has failed to secure space elsewhere to
host over 177 COVID-19 patients currently receiving care at the treatment
centre. He says several institutions that include, Watoto Church, World
Vision Resource Centre, Sir Samuel Baker School and Gulu Secondary School have
been approached for space but to no avail.
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But Aninge disagreed with the RDC saying COVID-19 patients across the country
are being evacuated from several education host institutions to allow smooth
reopening as directed by Government and Gulu shouldn’t be exceptional.
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On 19th September, the School wrote to the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Ruganda
reminding him of the need for the patients to be relocated from the school to
allow institutional space for final year students scheduled to start reporting
According to the letter, the school management also demanded the District Task
Force to fumigate the facility, pay utility bills spanning April to September
and repair all property vandalized by the patients.
In his response dated September 22 to the Ministry of Education and Sports,
Ministry of Health and Ministry for Presidency and Security, Dr. Rugunda requested
the three Ministries to work together with the Institution to implement the
President’s directive of opening schools for finalist students.
Gulu College of Health Sciences (formerly Gulu School of Clinical Officers) is
a Government institution established in the 1950s as a midwifery school to
train students in medical research and health system.
The College was transformed into a school for enrolled nurses and midwives in
the 1970’s and later a school for Medical Assistants in the early 1980s. It
remained a school for Clinical Officers until 2016 when Diplomas in Public
Health Dentistry, Pharmacy, Health Service Management and Anaesthesia were