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Lack of Transport Hindering COVID-19 Management in Nangoma Island

According to local leaders despite the area being prone to COVID-19, due to its closeness to Tanzania where the infection rate is high, access to reliable transport remains a challenge.
Some of the settlements at Nangoma Islands, that area is not fully covered with COVID-19 Prevention Services partly due to Transport challentges

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The lack of reliable transport connecting Nangoma Island to the mainland Kyotera district is hindering effective management of COVID-19 suspected cases.

Nangoma Sub County is located on the shores of Lake Victoria at the Uganda-Tanzania in Kyotera district.  

According to local leaders despite the area being prone to COVID-19, due to its closeness to Tanzania where the infection rate is high, access to reliable transport remains a challenge.

Adina Kumanya, the Nangoma sub-county chairperson explains that the area lacks transport means to facilitate the movement of COVID-19 suspects to the mainland in Kyotera district for testing services.

To access the Island, one has to use a boat that will spend 40-minutes through Kasensero landing across the thick waters of River Kagera or take over 100 kilometres drive through Tanzania. 

Alex Tumusiime, the Nangoma Parish Chief reveals some of the suspects that present with COVID-19 symptoms is instead taken to Tanzanian health facilities due to lack of reliable transport means to Uganda. 

//Cue in: (Luganda) “Nangoma erina….  

Cue out; …..obuntu obutonotono.”//  

Tumusiime indicates that although the district allocated the sub-county a boat to provide public transport to residents, this is largely fuelled and its operators are also not committed to work because they are just offering a voluntary service.

   //Cue in: (Luganda) “tusanze obuzibu….  

Cue out; …..kutukalubiriza.”// 

 Patrick Kintu Kisekkulo, the Kyotera LCV Chairperson, says that they have notified the Ministry of Health about the situation and have promised to give the area special attention.

Kisekkulo adds that due to the high risk of COVID-19, the district Taskforce chose to prioritize Nangoma Sub County in all interventions towards preventing the infection, saying that the sub-county was fully catered for in the distribution of government face masks.

He has challenged the local leaders to ensure full community adherence to all prevention approaches as they wait for government additional support.