With the country under lockdown in a move to curb Covid 19,health policy expert and the immediate past president of the Uganda Medical Association,Dr. Ekwaro has said that lockdown is not sustainable.
” Lockdown is not sustainable, we have to go back to the basics. The idea was to promote prevention and improve our ability to manage cases, in this case, we haven’t done well,” said Dr Ekwaro.
Dr. Ekwaro who was today appearing on NBS Morning Breeze advised government to instead expand on the testing of Covid 19.
“Life has come to a standstill. I think what should happen going forward is for the government to expand testing. Lockdown can go on but it’s not sustainable. We should get better with our health system and invest in our health professionals,” said Dr. Ekwaro.
He also advised government which recently purchased a fleet of over 282 double cabin pickups in the Shs23.9bn COVID-19 response donation funds to return the cars and instead use the money to buy testing kits.
“At this time, I don’t understand how pickups are more important than ICU beds and ventilators. Because of world politics, you may not access vaccines even when you have money but we have to focus on case management.Can we take back these pickups to Toyota, get our money, and buy testing kits?,” Said Dr. Ekwaro.
Dr. Ekwaro also said that there is a disconnect between the policy statements and policy actions on ground adding that he doesn’t think government has done well when it comes to case management.
” Patients were dying in lines awaiting medication. We can learn a lot about our health system by looking at the Covid 19 case management.Many referral hospitals are not functional because there is no human resource there. This is what we are lacking majorly and explains the outcome,”he said.
Known for championing the medical doctors’ interests in the country,Dr. Ekwaro also said that money is a very important motivator to the health officers.
“Money is a very important motivator for these health officials. Many are dying in the line of duty but have they been compensated? If we pay them more, even the corruption in health facilities will reduce,” said Dr. Ekwaro.