Zombo residents flock facilities as COVID-19 fears escalate

todayJuly 29, 2021

By Ronald Orachwun

Several residents in Zombo district are flocking private medical facilities as the fear of an increase in cases of COVID-19 continues to grip them.

A number of residents who present with signs similar to COVID-19 are being told to report for medical attention to prevent transmission of the disease to other people.

Crespo Jaraloch an attendant at God's will medical clinic in Paidha sub county Zombo district says they have been receiving over 40 people who present with signs including fever, cough and flu in a single day for the last one month. He says most of the people first visit the facility with an initial fear of contracting the disease, but most of them turn out to be signs of other diseases.
“People are just so worried of contracting the disease owing to the fact that our people mingle a lot with people of our neighboring country DR Congo. So many of them come here with fears that they have corona virus but when we check history, we discover that they have mild symptoms of malaria”, he said.

Samuel Ajuna, a clinical officer at Paidha medical clinic in Paidha town council explained that the efforts to manage the disease are being frustrated by the high cost of testing for the disease.

“Truth is people are worried. Somebody comes with malaria and you know the signs of malaria are not different from COVID-19. The fever, headache, joint pains and someone will say this is corona so people are panicking out there. I think one of the other issues to address this is how fast the government can bring vaccines in the country. I know by then people will get the vaccine and somehow this fear will gradually fade because people are worried for the worst”, he said.

According to a report released by Twaweza, a bigger number of citizens have expressed worry about the continued spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Twaweza’s Sauti Za Wanainchi Survey conducted in Kampala found that 95 percent of citizens are worried about the spread of Covid-19 in Uganda, despite only half of them (42%) who feel personally at risk of contracting the virus.

Between the Lines
The biggest concern for the fear of COVID-19 is the high death rate. More than half of the residents (53%) cite this as the reason for their worry but they also mention the number of patients (20%), lost income (17%), the rapid spread (13%) and more lockdowns (11%).
Evidence from around the world has shown that women are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and by measures taken to prevent its spread. Across Uganda, eight out of ten citizens (79%) say teen pregnancy has become a bigger problem during the Coronavirus pandemic, and half say physical (51%), emotional (51%) and sexual (46%) violence has gotten worse. Citizens also report an increase in problems related to alcohol consumption (58%) and drug abuse (49%).

Government in May and June registered a spike in corona virus cases, with records from Ministry of health indicating that cases went as far as over 800 in June and 1,000 in May this year before a second lockdown was imposed last month to scale down the rate of infections by closing schools, worship centers, suspension of inter-district movements as well as a ban on public transport.
Meanwhile, the government has reiterated its commitment to respond to the problem.

The Senior Public Relations Officer Ministry of Health Emmanuel Ainebyoona said “The Ugandan Government is working hard to respond to all facets of the pandemic. But as these data and other evidence shows, this is a war with many fronts. We need Ugandans from all walks of life to support each other through this crisis. And we need to make sure we are aware of the effects on our mental as well as our physical health and well-being.”

COVER PHOTO: A number of people are worried of the contineuos spread of COVID-19, according to a Twaweza Survey.


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