Health Workers Sharing Room with COVID-19 Suspects at Mutukula Border

Health workers screening for COVID-19 at the Uganda-Tanzania border at Mutukula in Kyotera district are sharing accommodation space with suspected cases.

The Ministry of Health deployed at least 12 health workers at the Mutukula border main entrance to carry out mandatory testing of all travellers entering the country as transit truck drivers from Tanzania. 

Although the health workers were provided with three separate tents from where they pick the samples, they are yet to secure proper accommodation facilities, hence sharing the available space with suspected cases as they wait for results.

The health workers who preferred anonymity said that the available room which doubles as their accommodation space and isolation unit for coronavirus suspects were offered by the local customs authorities in the area. 

“It is certainly so challenging and risky to the health workers deployed to do work here. We are handling the already identified unsafe group who are transit truck drivers that are already exposed to the virus,” one health workers noted.  

 Asked why they don’t transfer the suspects to Kyotera district quarantine unit designated at Kalisiiso Hospital, the health workers explained that the suspects who are usually truck drivers are hesitant and prefer staying near their cargo.

The medics argue that they notified the district heath and taskforce about the challenge but have failed to provide a solution.  

Doctor Edward Muwanga the Kyotera District Health Officer said they notified the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Doctor Diana Atwine when she visited the border last week and assured them that the Ministry will address the problem.

Atwine says that the Ministry is working out on procurement processes to hire a nearby hotel to accommodate the health workers.  

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