News and Updates

News, updates, announcements and insight from AMDA
  1. Schools, tertiary institutions to close for one month starting Friday, 20th March.
  2. Religious gatherings, churches, mosques, open prayers suspended for a month with immediate effect.
  3. Political and cultural public meetings, rallies, conferences, elections suspended for 32 days with immediate effect.
  4. No outbound travel by Ugandans to or through Category One countries (those severely affected by pandemic) for 32 days. These are; Italy, France, South Korea, China, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway Austria, Malaysia, Pakistan and San Marino. Foreigners can leave but not return in the 32 days. 
  5. Ugandans coming back from abroad, including category one countries, will be quarantined at their cost.
  6. Non-agricultural workplaces, factories, hotels, taxi parks, etc will continue operating but with SoPs, put out by ministry of health, e.g compulsory sanitary points, temperature monitors etc. Ministry to publish detailed SoPs. 
  7. Uganda-style weddings that bring together pentagon of groups will be postponed for 32 days from today. If couples in a hurry, do scientific wedding with core members. Not more than 10 people. 
  8. Burials won't be banned but recommend should be done by relatives who are nearby. Mourning be done later. If deceased died of Corona virus, State will take over burial. 
  9. Crops, people, cattle keepers, and fishermen should observe proper hygiene practices. Fishermen should be studied closely because they live in concentrated landing sites. Monthly (open air) markets suspended for 32 days. 
  10. Public transport. Taxis, bodas, buses, etc. Advice: Don't travel unless it's absolutely necessary. Also, transport operators be given mandatory SoPs. In event of an outbreak in given locality, public transport will be suspended. 
  11. Stop merrymaking, discos, bars, music shows, and concerts. Drunkards speak with saliva coming out of their mouths. Suspended for 32 days. 
  12. Virus spreads by sneezing, coughing. Observe hygiene. Close your mouth, etc. Stop touching surfaces, wash your hands, and don’t shake hands, hugging, etc do online transactions. 
  13. Do balanced diet. Eat vitamin C, oranges, lemons, etc.

The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan City, in December 2019. It has spread quite quickly and was declared a pandemic on 13th March 2020. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic/outbreak. To-date, Corona Virus has claimed thousands of lives worldwide. No case has been reported in Uganda yet, although cases have been reported in the rest of the East-African Countries. The president of Uganda recently gave directives on how to prevent the spread of the pandemic that have since been made available through the Media.

Here below, we bring to you some of the tips on the strategies you need to employ to prevent the pandemic.

  1. Avoid crowded places. The virus spreads quickly in crowds, and you are not sure of everyone in the crowd.
  2. Stop un-necessary travels, in public means here you are exposed to people from all ends. You don't know what they carry.
  3. Maintain social distancing Keep one meter off any person. Some carriers have no symptoms.
  4. WASH YOUR HANDS regularly wash your hands with water and soap. If possible, every after two

hours.

  1. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands regularly. Check to ensure alcohol

content above 60%.

  1. Avoid touching your Nose, eyes, and mouth before washing your hands.
  2. Use non-touch greeting Avoid hugs, handshakes, kissing, etc. Wave.
  3. Ensure a balanced diet rich in vitamins. Eat plenty of fruits.
  4. Self-isolate and report to a health center if you have fevers and flue like symptoms
  5. Do not share un-authentic messages about the COVID-19. These myths create wrong perceptions, can cause undue panic, and may soften the ground for virus to thrive. Do not share messages whose author or authenticity you doubt, or do not know.

A suspected case of COVID-19 is defined as A person with fever, cough, runny nose, headache, general body weakness and either: 1) history of travel from countries with confirmed cases, or 2) history of contact with a confirmed case or a sample from a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Report all suspected cases to MoH through:

Toll free:

0800203033

0800100066

Mr Kagirita 0782909153

Dr Muruta 0772460297 or text "ALERT" and send to 6767

 

E-Signed
Dr. Criscent Tumuhaise
Chairman - AMDA Health Council

KAMPALA – I have been amazed by the messages on how to prevent coronavirus. Most newspapers and media in Uganda have spurned messages portraying handwashing as a magic bullet for the anticipated coronavirus infection.

Whereas handwashing is one of the interventions that can mitigate the spread of the coronavirus infection, it is not the only strategy.

Let me outline the transmission mechanisms, prevention, and treatment of known airborne diseases to illustrate my point.

How are airborne diseases transmitted?

Airborne diseases as the name implies are transmitted mainly by breathing. They are spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, spits nasal and throat secretions into the air.

Certain viruses or bacteria hang in the air or land on other people or surfaces. When you breathe airborne disease organisms, they enter the body and stick to and infect the mucosa.

A person can also pick up the disease organisms when he or she touches an infected surface and then touches the eyes, nose or mouth. Because the disease organisms are mainly transmitted by air, they are hard to control. Thus, the rapid spread of coronavirus we are witnessing in the world today.

The international health regulations (IHR) do not recommend travel restrictions during epidemics/pandemics. That is why countries were reluctant to impose travel restrictions; and probably this is one of the causes of the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Isn’t it time now to review that regulation?

Common types of airborne diseases:

Common Cold, influenza, chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough, tuberculosis (TB), measles and diphtheria.

 How are airborne diseases best prevented? 

-Avoiding close contact with people who have active symptoms of the disease.

-Stay home when you are sick (self-quarantine).

-If you must be in public places, wear a face mask to prevent spreading or breathing in germs.

-Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

-Frequently washing hands with an antiseptic agent.

Treatment for common airborne diseases

For most airborne diseases, one needs to have plenty of rest and fluids.

For some airborne diseases, there is no targeted treatment, although medications and other supportive care can help relieve symptoms. Some diseases such as the flu can be treated with antiviral drugs.

Treatment for infants with whooping cough can include antibiotics and hospitalisation is often needed.

There are drugs to treat and cure TB, although some strains of it are drug-resistant. Failure to complete the course of medicine can lead to drug resistance and return of symptoms.

As we take measures to prevent a possible outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, I wish to advise Ugandans take on the above preventive interventions as well as hand- washing.

I also advise Ugandans to maintain the handwashing practice, especially after visiting toilets and before preparing or eating food.

This will help us to fight diseases like cholera, typhoid, dysentery, worm infections and other diseases spread through the nose and eyes associated with poor handwashing practices.

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The writer is a professor at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.