• Tue. Jun 28th, 2022

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Controversy as Indian community turns Hotel into a Covid-19 treatment centre

As covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country, the urge to seek for health treatment is still a problem in the country. Many people tend to shy away from getting treatment due to the high price hospitals charge on a daily which range from shs1m-shs5m per day.

Paul Mugambe (centre) the mayor for Nakawa division handing over a certificate of operation from the ministry of health to Ajay Kumar the Indian high commissioner to Uganda as Mohan Rao the chairperson of Indian association looks on. This was during the commissioning of the new Covid19 isolation and treatment centre in Bugolobi, Nakawa division

 

Covid19 tests range from shs75,000 to shs 200,000 depending on where one tests from. Covid19 patients can spend up to 14days in hospital, implying, the person may need more than shs30m to get a full treatment. It was upon such a background that the Indian association in Uganda opened up an isolation and treatment centre which could accommodate 27 people at a fee of shs250,000 daily for 10 days, and thus being fair for a common man.
However, the ministry of health recently came out strongly to oppose the treatment of Covid19 patients from the facility. In a what seemed like a twist events, Mr. Emmanuel Ainebyona the spokesperson for the ministry of health said, the Indian community had earlier applied for a license which can only allow isolation of Covid19 patients, “not treatment.” According to Mr. Ainebyona, the health ministry is contemplating on having the permission revoked. “These people have gone ahead to advertise their facility as a treatment centre which is not allowed,” Mr. Ainebyona noted.
Led by their chairperson Mr. Rao Mohan, the Indian association had resolved to equip the facility with medical requirements for isolation of Covid19 patients. At sh250,000 per day, Covid19 patients were expected to receive all the required treatment including, oxygen, food and accommodation. Four doctors and ten nurses had been deployed at the facility, on addition to a standby ambulance.

 

HE: Ajay Kumar, the Indian high commissioner to Uganda said, the Covid19 isolation centre is more like a corporate social responsibility from the Indian community to Ugandans. He decried the high expenses charged by private health facilities in treatment of Covid19 cases saying, many Ugandans can not manage them. “On average, private medical facilities charge shs2.5m per day which is really high,” expressed H.E Kumar, commending the Indian association for taking a lead in providing affordable medical care towards Covid19 patients.

Ajay Kumar (3rd left) the Indian High commissioner to Uganda together with Paul Mugambe (wearing a blue dotted tie) the mayor for Nakawa division and Rao Mohan the chairperson of the Indian association among other Indians during the commissioning of the new Covid19 isolation and treatment centre

 

Meanwhile, Paul Mugambe the mayor for Nakawa division lauded the gesture of setting up the isolation and treatment centre within Nakawa division. Reechoing concerns of high expenses incurred by Covid19 patients to get treatment in private medical facilities, the area mayor intimated that some patients have been tasked to go as far as staking their land titles in order to cover the high expenses incurred while receiving treatment from private medical facilities.

The Indian government and the Indian community have been pivotal in Uganda’s development and social amenities. On March 8, the government of India donated a consignment consisting of 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Uganda among other efforts in combating the pandemic.

 

According to a letter from the ministry of health, a team from the Case Management Pillar visited the facility on 14th June2021. “The team established that your facility is suitable for the isolation and care of Mild disease patients and those with moderate disease but at no profound risk of progressing to severe disease,” read in part the letter.

 

The purpose of this letter therefore, is to inform you that Royal Fort Suites Bugolobi has been cleared to provide isolation and care services for COVID-19 Patients with mild disease who are not eligible for home-based isolation and Patients with moderate disease but with no obvious predisposition to progression to severe disease,” added a letter.

 

The ministry had also barred the management from handling cases of underlying co-morbidities (Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Malignancies, or whose co-morbidities are well controlled (well documented).Please note that failure to adhere to the set guidelines and standard operating procedures, the Ministry of Health will reserve the right to revoke the clearance to manage COVID-19 patients at your facility,” the health ministry had warned earlier.

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