Rumours and myths surrounding Covid-19 vaccines have thrown some Ugandans into an abyss of fear and mistrust yet studies have shown that current vaccines appear to be effective enough to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the outcry about high treatment charges for COVID-19 patients at private
health facilities, some doctors there say only vaccination will end the crisis.
They say whoever is refusing to be vaccinated will ultimately pay price when
they end in hospitals.
Lately private facilities like Medipal,
Kampala International and Case Hospital among others have been accused charging
more than necessary for services at Intensive Care Units.
Some of the
administrators of those hospitals say managing a COVID-19 patient under
intensive care cannot be any cheaper they unanimously agree that the only way
to avoid those high treatment cost is to have ever Ugandan vaccinated. The
other alternative is to let people to get the disease for them to get natural
however says the second option is problematic because one is not guaranteed of
naturally without acquiring severe complication that would require intensive
care in hospitals.
Hospital’s Medical Director, Richard Lukwandwa explains that says while many
have complained about the costs charged for services at Intensive Care and High
Dependence Units, the reality is treating a person with COVID-19 is not cheap
in terms of drugs, oxygen and specialists involved.
“Uganda is a resource poor …….
Out…….is to push vaccination "/////
According Lukandwa, Medipal’s emergency unit handled 175 COVID-19 patients in
the month of June alone. 159 of those got admitted while 28 were admitted at
ICU and HDU.
An analysis by Coalition for Health Promotion
and Social Development (HEPS-Uganda) showed that
the daily rate for critically ill patients at Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
admissions ranged between three million to five million shillings.
also found that severely ill patients requiring High Dependence Unit (HDU) care
paid between one to two million shillings per day and hospitalization for a
two-week’s period required up to 100 million shillings.
unfortunately even with such a huge expenditure, patients in Uganda like
elsewhere in the world die.
“So the key
message for this COVID-19 pandemic is each and every one of you need to
highlight the importance of vaccination. Because we are not going to have very
easy answers in terms of treatment. Because the COVID private providers are
very few, and we are very stretched. And in the longer term insurance is very
key” said Lukandwa
Value of Vaccination Against COVID-19
Rumours and myths
surrounding Covid-19 vaccines have thrown some Ugandans into an abyss of fear
and mistrust yet studies shown that current
vaccines appear to be effective enough to end the pandemic.
But because of
rumors, it is emerging that many of those that have succumbed to the disease
were vaccine hesitant.
Medical Director, Dr. Miriam Apiyo like her Medpal counterpart says only those
that are fully vaccinated can survival serious complications leading to
hospitalization at ICU and High Dependency units. She says unfortunately some
of the healthcare providers who have ended up admitted were found to have not
/////Cue in ´I have also treated colleagues……
into COVID-19 care”////
Apiyo says at
the height the COVID-19 wave last month, even the country’s referral hospitals
were not able to sustain because all hospitals were full.
She says the recent
wave leading to the outcry about charges exposed the fact that the regional
referral hospitals not had defective Intensive care units but intensive care
country as we talk, if we have sixty ventilators. Where are those ventilators?
The biggest percentage are in the private sector. Why doesn’t the government
have one? Because almost every district
has a regional hospital.” Asked Apiyo “Why do we think that despite the fact
that those regional hospitals exist, there is only HDU care or ICU or critical
care with fully functional? “
////Cue in “It
is one thing to have a……
because critical care does not exist”////
So in the
absence of critical care at the regional referral hospitals, Apiyo says
COVID-19 patients have flooded to already overstretched private providers.
“And of course then you cannot use that
hospital to judge a hospital that has complete care to critical care capacity.
So what I’m really saying is that let’s vaccinate and avoid those costs “said
still a threat to people who are unvaccinated says Pontiano Kaleebu, the
Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Kaleebu urges whoever
has not been vaccinated to get the two shots in the arm with Astazeneca to
protect themselves in case they get infected.
//// “Cue in
“I think the whole world....
Out……….that people can now be allowed to moev”////
Kaleebu, a Clinical immunologist and HIV/AIDS researcher says while the
coronavirus may disappear within just 14 days or less, treating COVID-19 can be
that expensive when hospitalized.
Professor Kaleebu says some people end up with ongoing health
problems several weeks or even longer after getting infected.
He says there
is evidence that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people
who have recovered from COVID-19. “
/////Cue In " Dont be worried about reinfection..............
You may get better response from a vaccine"/////" There is nothing that we can do that can be 100%. But the world can
not stay stagnant that because there is COVID. I think vaccination is
one way that world can start moving" said Professor Kaleebu
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