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Loss of LC I Chairpersons to COVID-19 in Mukono Frustrates Community Surveillance

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Muhammad Wasswa Takwana, the LC I chairperson of Ggulu Cell A in Mukono Central Division, says that the situation is out of their hands after seeing their colleagues dying helplessly.
A funeral service team burrying a Covid-19 body at Nama Sub County Mukono district.

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The loss of three local council chairpersons in Mukono municipality to COVID-19 has had an impact on community surveillance. The three chairpersons succumbed to COVID-19 within a period of two weeks. They are Angello Nsereko, the LC I chairperson of Bugujju cell, George Ssekandi of Lweza cell and George William Ssekakubo of Total cell.  

In response to the second wave of the pandemic, the Mukono district COVID-19 task force resorted to the training of Village Health Teams-VHTs and LC I chairpersons to monitor and reported suspected COVID-19 death and the dead for examination before they are buried.

The team in charge of examinations is overwhelmed by the many COVID-19 cases. Muhammad Wasswa Takwana, the LC I chairperson of Ggulu Cell A in Mukono Central Division, says that the situation is out of their hands after seeing their colleagues dying helplessly.

He says that much as they were tasked with the sole responsibility of reporting cases in their communities, they are risking lives since the district surveillance team cannot handle the surging cases.

 

//Cue in: “Okutwalira awumu…    

Cue out: …balamu oba balwadde”//  

Statistics from Mukono Resident District Commissioners’ office show that they have registered 568 positive COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths from April raising the figure to 30 since the outbreak of the disease. Local leaders claim that many cases go unreported in their communities especially in families that cannot afford ambulance fees to transport patients to g hospitals in Kampala and Wakiso districts.

They say that the few who can access facilities such as Mulago hospital and Namboole lack funds for treatment. Ibrahim Kitenda, the LCI Chairperson of Ngandu village in Mukono Municipality, says that two people succumbed to COVID-19 in small clinics.   He says several others are dying of the same due to lack of access to treatment centers.

Although the district designated Mukono general hospital, Kojja Health Center IV, Naggalama and Mukono Church of Uganda Hospitals to offer free COVID-19 testing for people with symptoms, many of those found positive are left to return to their homes for self-medication.   

//Cue in: “Yusuf was a…    

Cue out: …to kill us”//

Dominic Muwuluzi, a resident of Namagunga in Nagojje Sub County is worried that they get more cases in the district even after the lockdown. He says that most of the issues mentioned by President Yoweri Museveni as part of the COVID-19 control measures have continued unabated. URN has also observed that many bars and rest gardens operate freely with many people both day and night without any restrictions.  

The ban on Inter-district travel is also being flouted by residents using small village paths and police officers taking bribes to allow free movement while several other people are attending burial and wedding ceremonies in big numbers.

Fatumah Ndisaba, the Mukono Resident District Commissioner has acknowledged the gap between the task force and security agencies in enforcing the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs. Ndisaba urges the residents to avoid large gatherings to protect them from infections.   

//Cue in: “Tufiridwa abantu baffe…   

Cue out: …tubatangira obulwadde”//            

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