BY JULIUS ODEKE
The District Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Eriatu for Kalaki publicly announced that the district had registered 55 cases of Covid-19 patients in a space of one week.
According to the Health Centre IV data, Bululu sub-county was leading with 36 cases, Kalaki sub-county had 11 cases, Otuboi sub-county and Town Council had 17 and two respectively bringing to a total of 55 cases since President Yoweri Museveni lifted the lockdown. And most of these cases are being managed at home under home-based care.
To lay persons, this rings very serious alarm bells. However, it shouldn’t in actual sense. This is because in all this, vaccination is taking place in Kalaki; though with a few numbers of AstraZeneca doses that the district received from the Ministry of Health. There are several factors at play that can best explain why such a high proportion of cases are being registered in Teso sub-region with specific mention of Kalaki.
The health team at the district is constantly on the ground carrying out tests on a daily basis; something that we must applaud them for being courageous. Medics are doing this at time when people giving up in other parts of the world. Then, politicians and the technical team in the district have also left their comfort zones and are on the field doing a lot of sensitization so as to create awareness among our people.
Kalaki has a District Covid-19 Taskforce of 16 people; the technical staff and political leadership being boasted by the LCs both at the village and parish levels. They move to public places like trading centres since places of worship are no longer active unanimously educating locals to desist from public gatherings like burials, marriage ceremonies, opening cinema halls and drinking joints like they used to be before the invasion of coronavirus in 2020.
However, in all this, Kalaki District is struggling to do it amidst limited resources. At the district, staff have a few cars and motorcycles that help them to reach the grassroots. Kalaki District is gifted with young and selfless officers who are there to serve humanity. People have been tasked to sensitize the public whenever they see people gathered – telling them the dangers of covid-19.
You know people tend to forget easily. But we are doing massive education bearing in mind that, it’s a young district that has no resources to facilitate ventures like movement. Some officials have to share but remember sharing is not allowed.
I want to thank the newly posted District Police Commander Jackson Bogere. Bogere and his police officers on many instances have been moving either on foot or by his patrol car with trumpets telling the public all the benefits of observing SOPs – Standard Operating Procedures.
“Police is here not to arrest people but to educate them,” Bogere told the District Covid-19 on Monday. On Monday, I witnessed police officers move both on foot and in their patrol cars with trumpets telling people to wear their masks, wash hands and keep their distance from one another so as to fight this disease. And it’s out of this, that the district is getting to know the dangers of Covid-19 and now the community is coming up reporting cases within their villages.
There is a lot that other districts countrywide can learn, unlearn and relearn from Kalaki as a new district. Politicians, the technical team, and the public at large know that Covid-19 can hamper their economic and social status if it goes unchecked.
Note, in all this, much as Covid-19 cases are rising, Kalaki has had only two cases of death since. Though the rate of death registered is lower, nobody in Kalaki wants Covid-19 to ravage the area. And this explains why almost every sane person is doing the sensitization work in the district.
People in Kalaki do not want the effects that have come with Covid-19 such as; the closure of schools, markets, and worship centres to continue. In fact, they want those places to be opened and that is why there are keenly following the issues of covid-19.
Leaders are carrying out door-door sensitization, which has brought a lot of sanity to the area as people now know their mandate – even to least person in the village is aware. Locals in Kalaki are only praying that the vaccine rollout should continue.
Ugandans should know that the vaccine rollout countrywide is poor since it has systematically targeted people at the highest risk from Covid-10. Medical people, older, teachers, and the security and some whose health conditions make them more vulnerable are the ones who are being vaccinated. The moment vaccination will be there for everyone, people in Kalaki are waiting for it since it will lower the risk of getting covid-19.
Julius Odeke is the Communication Officer for Kalaki District
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0776322482