KAMPALA — The Ministry of Health has launched protocols for home-based isolation and care, anticipating to discharge asymptomatic Covid-19 positive cases.
Officials say, this is part of government efforts for decongesting the lready country’s constrained health system.
According to guidelines seen by this website, the implementation of the protocols would start “immediately”, meaning that, from now, Covid-19 positive patients who do not have any symptoms will start getting medical treatment from their homes.
The protocol was developed to provide a solution in the management of the increasing numbers and the anticipated surge in Covid-19 cases.
“To ease the constraint
posed on the health facilities, the Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) has provided an option of advising some
categories of COVID 19 patients to undergo isolation and
care at their homes. For example, asymptomatic patients or those with mild disease or those who are not at risk of
developing severe disease can undergo home-based isolation and care not to overwhelm the health facilities,” the Health Ministry indicated.
The guidelines explain the criteria for someone to be released for the home-based care, care procedures, medical monitoring, the referral system to health facilities should the need arise, as well as the criteria for determining recovery and community participation.
Those who cannot afford to be isolated in their houses because of space, will be placed in a facility within the community that meets the recommendations for providing such care, the Ministry said, but added, that strict adherence to the home isolation guidance will significantly reduce the overall amount of infection any household member could pass on to others in the country.
All confirmed cases that will undergo home care need to have or show proof that they have a reliable means of transport incase patients need to be rushed to hospital. Those who are positive will not be allowed to travel using public transport like buses, taxis or boda bodas.
In addition to this, if possible, the patient should be provided a separate toilet and the home should have immediate access to a functioning telephone for communication. Those that are positive will have to stay away from persons in the home that are easily susceptible. For instance persons above the age of 60 or those who suffer from conditions that lower the body immunity like cancer, diabetes and HIV.
The other conditions are, Both the patient and care giver will also have to follow a number of guidelines.
According to the guidelines, both the caregiver and patient will have to agree on a time to receive a follow up phone call from the ministry of health. The care giver chosen should be in good health preferably younger than 60 years of ages with no underlying conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.
They should also take care of themselves by always wearing a mask when attending to the patient and making sure they get enough rest.
Care givers will also be mandated to routinely monitor the patients well being and play close attention to whether they develop new symptoms associated with the disease like cough, flu, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, headaches or general body weakness. The care giver will also have to remain in constant communication with ministry of health staff.
Dr. Charles Olaro, the director of clinical services and COVID-19 treatment facilities told reporters that the homes of persons who will undergo home care will have to be assessed before they are given the green light.
He added that village health teams or district health officers will be assessing homes before positive patients are allowed to stay there. Only those who qualify will be allowed to stay home.
Currently, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in the country is 8,808 and the total number of samples tested is 491,547.