March 7, 2021

18 Health workers affected by Covid-19 in Dowa

At least 18 Health workers are reported to have tested Covid-19 positive in Dowa district. According to statistics made available at the Dowa District Health Office [DHO], the district has not registered any death so far, many cases are contacts, 4 are at institutional isolation and the rest are at home.

Statistics are showing that Mponela Rural Hospital recorded 11 cases: 8 are health workers affected, Mvera Army 11 cases one is a health worker, Dzaleka camp 11, 3 health workers and Chakhaza one, admitted, on the 5th day admission showed signs of improving and cannot be traced since 13 December 2020, Chezi 8 cases: 3 health workers and Dowa boma 5 cases: 3 are health workers.

The health workers affected include: Nurses, Data entry clerks, a Clinician, an Environmental Health Officer and a patient attendant. Cumulatively, the district has recorded 143 cases, 92 recoveries, 3 deaths, one lost to follow–up and has 47 active cases as of 13 January 2021.

Speaking during an emergency Public Health Management Committee [PHEMC] meeting held at the boma, Director of Health and Social Services for Dowa, Dr. Peter Makoza, said everyone relaxed thinking that Coronavirus is over, hence not following the preventive measures, a development which has contributed to the rise in cases of Covid-19 in the district.

Dr. Makoza said his office is distributing face masks to guardians and patients, improving testing capacity, disinfection of premises, hospital and other government offices and data flow is very quick from health centres to the District Health Office.

However, Dr. Makoza said Covid-19 implementations have met challenges in the district citing rapid response teams not oriented, partners have almost disappeared in terms of support, and lack of sufficient sensitization done in the communities by Health Surveillance Assistants [HSAs].

He said some of those on quarantine, 8 in number, complied to stay at home and some do not disclose to their family members that they have been found positive, saying this was discovered through contact tracing.

The Director called on communities in the district to accept that Covid-19 is real, and not just for the urban centres as some people have previously been thinking, this strain Covid is spreading faster than the first Covid-19 strain that the country witnessed in March 2020 and is asking the people to follow prevention measures to stop the virus from further spread in the district.

…….”Let each and every person in the community be an agent of change with collective responsibility, let’s protect ourselves and one another,’’…..said Dr. Makoza.

In his remarks, District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdooko, called for continuous sensitization to the communities that Covid-19 is real, demanding one to always wear face masks observing that it is a challenge to wear face masks but people have to accept it in the same way they have accepted HIV/Aids.

By Vincent Gunde

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