Lower Health Facilities to Offer COVID-19 Testing, Management

By Leilah Bbaale

Health Centre III’s across the country will now be able to test and manage COVID-19 cases, as the health Ministry moves to ease care for those battling the deadly respiratory disease.

Dr Atek Kagirita, an Epidemiologist and a Technical Consultant at the COVID-19 surveillance taskforce says  that the need for a home-based care model for COVID-19 patients has necessitated rolling out testing services and to improve accessibility and public uptake.

The Ministry of Health revisited the approach of treatment after the surge in COVID-19 cases and allowed those with mild symptoms of the virus to be isolated and monitored from their homes. Hospital admissions were then preserved for moderate and severe cases and those with underlying health conditions.

Dr Kagirita says that in anticipation of a sharp increase in the number of infections due to the continued ease of the lockdown restrictions and the systematic opening of education institutions, the Ministry of Health has found it worthwhile to improve accessibility to testing services for purposes of ensuring that all cases are detected and attended to in time.

He explains that the ministry has considered equipping a critical mass of staff at health centre III with skills and Rapid Diagnostic Testing-RDT kits, to enable them to perform COVID-19 testing and promptly generate results from their local treatment stations.

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