President Museveni has directed that all health workers be given protective gear including face masks and gloves to protect them against the risk of being infected with the deadly coronavirus as they attend to patients.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday, the president said in the past, government was not prepared after the outbreak of epidemics like Ebola that saw the death of some of the health workers, including Dr. Mathew Lukwiya in Gulu.
He said there should not be a repeat of the same as the country battles with the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“The other time we were surprised by Ebola and Dr. Lukwiya died. We should have a standard operating procedure whether there is an epidemic or not. I don’t see why health workers should touch patients without gloves and masks,”Museveni said.
Several doctors in Europe who are at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 have died of the deadly virus since its outbreak last year.
The president said he doesn’t want to see a similar scenario to happen here, noting that through the National Enterprise Corporation, the business wing of the UPDF, one million face masks are to be brought and 50,000 N95 masks as well as gloves for all health workers.
“We should have standards. We should know that the doctor might be a problem to patient and the patient might become a problem to the doctor. The doctor can also infect the patient.”
The Health Minister, Dr.Ruth Aceng said the globes are available whereas Nytil is also manufacturing masks.
“We can procure masks for all health workers. It is not a big problem,” Aceng said.
The development comes hours after health workers under their umbrella body; the Uganda Medical Association warned government that they will abandon work if they are not given protective gear.
“A dead doctor doesn’t help himself neither his family. It is important to protect yourself and then you can protect others. No personal protective equipment no work,” the Uganda Medical Association Secretary General, Dr Muhereza Mukuzi said.