BY DUNCAN MUGISHA
KABALE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2021
The Kabale District Chairperson Nelson Nshangabasheija has told the District Health Officer, Alfred Besigensi, to pay the allowances of the members of the Village Health Teams (VHTs) so that they can be enabled to carry out their designated activities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nshangabasheija made the call during the Kabale District COVID-19 task force meeting that was held to discuss the increase in the number of cases registered in the District since President Museveni partially lifted the lock-down on July 30, 2021.
According to the data from the department of health, Kabale District had started registering a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases when lock-down was imposed, but now the numbers are increasing from a daily average of 4 to 14 cases.
Nshangabasheija attributed the challenge to laxity in adherence to the Covid-19 prevention guidelines and the reduced sensitization programs, especially in the rural areas, where he said life has returned to normal and people no longer follow any standard operating procedures.
He asked the District authorities to empower the VHTs and the Village Task Forces on Covid-19 by releasing their allowances so that they can begin intensified sensitization about the pandemic.
Nshangabasheija revealed that money for the VHTs was part of the sh418m supplementary Covid-19 response funds received earlier this month by Kabale District from the central Government.
Darius Nandinda, the Resident District Commissioner Kabale, tasked the DHO to explain why he was hording the allowances for the VHTs.
In response, Besigensi said there are series of accountability procedures involved in releasing the sh100,000 per VHT member allowances.
However, he promised that the funds would be given to the VHT members starting next Monday.
VHTs are the cornerstone of grass roots sensitization and monitoring of health programmes including Covid-19 where they follow patients under the home based care, coordinate interventions and enforce guidelines on prevention of the pandemic.
Kabale bistrict by the end of last week had 79 Covid-19 active cases with 46 of them under home based care, 33 admitted at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital while three patients died of Covid-19 within the week.
Cumulatively, the district has registered over 2000 Covid-19 cases and 79 deaths due to the pandemic.