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Africa News of Thursday, 10 June 2021


Uganda Health Ministry guidelines on how to treat COVID-19 at home

A 42-day lockdown has recently been announced by the president A 42-day lockdown has recently been announced by the president

As the second wave of Covid-19 sweeps through the country, the government is directing Covid-19 patients to be treated from home due to the limited number of beds in hospitals.

Up to 88 per cent (6,155/6,909) of active cases of Covid-19 infection are currently being treated from home, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

Ms Elizabeth Kaleeba, a resident of Entebbe in Wakiso District, who recovered after undergoing home-based care, told Daily Monitor she defeated Covid-19 because she followed advice from a medical doctor and made daring personal adjustments.

According to Ministry of Health, the commonest symptoms of Covid-19 range from fever, dry cough, tiredness to flu, aches and pains, sore throat, headache, loss of taste or smell, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath and chest pain, among others.

Ms Kaleeba said she used azithromycin, blood thinner, zinc and vitamin c as medicines to fight the deadly virus while undergoing home based care.
She said she had to buy an oximeter to monitor her oxygen levels.

But other Covid-19 survivors such as Ms Remmy Besiima, a lawyer in Kampala, they were steaming with local herbs to fight off the disease.

There is widespread information on social media that using concoctions of ginger, garlic, honey and chilli is very effective in treating Covid-19.

But Prof Rhoda Wanyenze, a medical doctor on the government Scientific Advisory Committee, warned against relying on herbs and other concoctions for Covid-19 prevention or treatment, saying there is no scientific proof to back those claims.

Dr Charles Olaro, the director of clinical (curative) services at the Ministry of Health, said home based care community prescription considerations are as follows: “For adults and children older than 12 years, if fever is more than 37.5 degrees, [they should be] given Paracetamol 1g three times a day for 3 days, tab Zinc 20 mg once daily for 14 days, Vitamin D 1200mg daily for one month among those demonstrated to be deficient by laboratory test or empirically among older persons who stay indoors,” he said.

He advised: “If you have a mild cough with no breathing complications such as shortness of breath, take oral Azithromycin 500mg once daily for 5 days or Amoxicillin 500mg 3 time a day for 7 days.”

Dr Olaro said supportive treatment for children aged 6-11 is as follows: “If fever is greater than 37, give Paracetamol 10-15mg three times a day for 3 days, Zinc 20 mg once daily for 14 days, and vitamin D 800 IU once daily for 1 month; if a child has a mild cough with no breathing complications and flu, they can take nasal decongestant and oral amoxicillin 500mg three times a day for five days.”

For children who are less than 1 year, he advises: “Oral Amoxicillin dispensable tabs (DT) 40 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours for 5 days, 2-11 months 250mg every 12 hours for 5 days, 1-3 years 500mg every 12 hours for 5 days, 4-5 years 750mg every 12 hours for 5 days.”

The specific things that must be monitored in a Covid-19 patient undergoing home based care include temperature, mental state, heart rate and respiratory conditions.

Dr Amone told Daily Monitor that they are revising the previous guidelines for home-based care.

He told this reporter last year that home-based care is specifically for Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic, have mild sickness and space to isolate themselves at home.

Patients who are symptomatic and may progress to severe conditions, those presenting with severe or critical symptoms and the elderly patients aged above 60 are not eligible for home-care, according to the guidelines.

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