Health Minister Aceng Cautions UPDF, Ugandans On COVID19

Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister for health has cautioned Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF and Ugandans at large against joking with COVID19 as they can easily become part of the statistics. Aceng made the remarks when she was the chief guest at the feasibility of collecting, processing and storing COVID-19 convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19 in Uganda at Makerere University Main Hall.

Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister for health has cautioned Uganda People’s Defence Forces –UPDF and Ugandans at large against joking with COVID19 as they can easily become part of the statistics. Aceng made the remarks when she was the chief guest at the feasibility of collecting, processing and storing COVID-19 convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19 in Uganda at Makerere University Main Hall.

“It is with us and it can take anyone of us as it has already taken very prominent people from our society. Do not to become part of the statistics but part of those that are supporting the response to ensure that Ugandans remain alive” Aceng said.

 

Uganda has more than 5000 confirmed COVID19 cases since March 21 when the first case was registered. Aceng said Uganda is losing 2-3 covid-19 patients per day and the numbers are climbing up every day thus the need for more innovations.

 

“What is given currently is only support. So having convalescent plasma come on board is great and we are looking forward to it being started tomorrow,” she said.

 

The minister wholesomely cautioned Ugandans who thought and who still think that COVID-19 is a joke that COVID-19 is real. According to ministry of health and UPDF, the aim of the feasibility is to collect and process COVID-19 convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19.

 

Experts in health matters explain that convalescent plasma is plasma from individuals who have recovered from an infection, and this plasma may contain antibodies against that infection. UPDF said since the outbreak of the COVID19 epidemic in March, UPDF has had a 360-degree approach towards it.

 

Brig Flavia Byekwaso, in a statement said UPDF has been involved in all the stages of this epidemic control from prevention, care and treatment, case management, surveillance, and now UPDF is involved in research.

UPDF 25th of Mar 2020, 86 medics from UPDF were dispatched to different hospitals to boost the effort. These 86 medics from UPDF would later turn into critical staff at different hospitals fighting the pandemic.

 

Convalescent study was conducted by the COVIDRES-Uganda Research group; a multi-disciplinary research group coordinated by the Makerere University Lung Institute (MLI). These included members from MLI, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Medical Services, Mulago National Referral Hospital, Uganda Cancer Institute among others.

 

Aceng extolled the government for funding the Study, Makerere University for supporting responses to COVID-19 always through advice, research and hands on, the collaborators on the study but more so the plasma donors who are recovered COVID19 patients who came in willingly having heard of the study.

 

UPDF through Maj Gen Ambrose Musinguzi, the UPDF Director Medical services, said its medical services will always be to support all the efforts. “It is our concern as UPDF that in circumstances like this, when the country is facing a pandemic, UPDF must be there for Ugandans as it has always been,” Maj Gen Musinguzi said.