KOBOKO. ACAV in collaboration with Koboko municipal council with funding from the European Union have donated Covid-19 assorted medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) worth Shs100million to Koboko general hospital Covid-19 treatment unit (CTU) and security agencies in the district.
This is in an effort to continue the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The donation is part of the Shs4billion three-year project of inclusive urban development and mobility action in Uganda. In Africa, the Inclusive urban development and mobility action project is being implemented in Ethiopia’s Capital Addis Ababa and Koboko municipality in Uganda.
In this project, ACAV, a nongovernmental organization based in Koboko district provides technical assistance to Koboko municipality to implement a comprehensive refugee response framework in Uganda.
The project aims at increasing safety and wellbeing of refugees and host communities in Koboko municipality and reduce inequalities between the two groups.
The items donated include blood pressure machines, mosquito nets, megaphones, Stethoscopes, Infra-ray-thermometers, tents, sanitizers, medical waste bins, medical gloves, gumboots, swabs and masks.
Koboko municipal council hosts 23,190 urban refugees from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo living in 2,800 households.
Their presence in Koboko municipality has put pressure on the resources the government of Uganda provides to its citizens based on the population data base of citizens of Uganda.
Mr Hosea Anyole, a nurse in-charge of Koboko hospital Covid-19 CTU said the unit has been lacking PPE and many other assorted medical equipment and essential medicines to adequately help Covid-19 patients.
He said inadequate medicine prompted them to let patients liaise with their families to buy drugs from the pharmacies in the process of treating Covid-19 patients, a factor that has led to risks of exposure of members of such families.
To Anyole, the supplies will be addressing some of the core challenges but feeding the patients has remained the main challenge as family members keep bringing food from their homes which Anyole said pre-exposes them to risks of contracting the virus.
Ms Grace Akandru, the ACAV Communications and visibility officer disclosed that the donation is an emergency response to the Covid-19 situation of Koboko as community infections increased in the district from September.
She said it became an emergency to ACAV when Koboko registered many cases in a week as Arua center was overwhelmed by new cases, making Arua treatment center to run out of space.
Akandru revealed that under the project, ACAV had no plans to respond to Covid-19, but when the situation worsened, the organization decided to fasten procurement of these assortments with the help of EU with the aim to cover the gaps at Koboko general hospital Covid-19 treatment unit.
“We are grateful to European Union for allowing us to shift the budget because this project by ACAV did not have a plan for Covid-19 and we had started implementation, but as Covid came in, we had to realign our activities that incorporate Covid-19 response of the district,” Ms Akandru noted.
She said they are also working together with Uganda Peoples Defense Forces and Uganda Police in the district as many locals and refugees seek medical services from the barracks.
“I want to thank European Union through the government of Uganda for donating these items to Koboko Covid-19 treatment unit. With these items, I am sure that some of the cases coming will be handled here without taking the patients to Arua Regional Referral hospital that has its own challenges also” Mr Wilson Sanya, the Koboko Municipality Mayor said.
He stressed that Koboko being a border town and following the porous border lines, the municipality is exposed to getting Covid-19 cases from DRC, South Sudan and from refugee camps in the neighboring Yumbe district as people use the porous routes into Koboko.
Koboko Covid-19 unit in the two months of operation has discharged 40 patients, 3 remaining at the unit as three more are in home-based self-isolation and two deaths.
Koboko Resident District Commissioner, Dr Sazir Mayanja warned health workers against misusing the assortment.
Meanwhile Koboko district Secretary for Production, Mr Isaac Todoko who represented the district chairman called upon leaders of Koboko general hospital to provide accountability for whatever has been donated.