Since March 21, when the first coronavirus disease (Covid-19) case was confirmed in Uganda, the country has not registered any deaths. This can partly be attributed to government efforts in managing the confirmed cases and aggressive public awareness campaigns to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
During his Tuesday address to clarify on the preventive measures government was further undertaking to prevent the spread of the virus that has wreaked havoc worldwide, President Museveni reiterated that all Ugandans (30 million) above the age of six would get free government masks.
The said masks will be distributed through the District Local Council system and each person will be allocated one mask which must be worn all the time when in public.
Government efforts in the fight against further spread of the virus are commendable.
However, during this period several Ugandans have lost their lives after President Museveni announced a virus-induced lockdown, especially due to transport restrictions as many could not access health services in time.
There have been reported cases of mothers dying on their way to hospital following the lockdown. On Wednesday, a 36-year-old woman in Buziga, a Kampala suburb, died on the way to hospital to give birth.
A number of people living with HIV/Aids and cancer patients also have been unable to access drugs and treatment following the suspension of public transport.
During the clarification on lockdown measures, the President said one can get their own masks provided they are the right quality and that the Ministry of Health would guide on the type of masks.
However, government needs to be more concerned about the entire health sector even after Covid-19.
A functional government ought to constantly follow up on whether its citizens are getting the right treatment from the health facilities.
There have been several reports of misdiagnosis, lack of drugs, absentee health workers but government seems not to care.
Now is the time for government to show more commitment and concern about the quality of health services its citizens have access to. It should not be only in times of crisis.
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