Although most African countries, Uganda inclusive, have put in place restrictions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) contend that the poor and fragile healthcare systems in most of these countries are likely to worsen the outbreak.
This is because health facilities in most African countries are way below the recommended standards for COVID-19 isolation centres, many of these nations have to import Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing kits for the virus yet the hospitals are in most cases also understaffed.
Currently, the outbreak of the new coronavirus has reached every nation in Africa, a continent of 1.2 billion people.
As of June 24, the confirmed coronavirus death toll on the continent stood at 8,642, with fatalities including the former President of the Republic of the Congo Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango and Somalia’s former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein.
There are 326,236 confirmed infections and 154,877 recoveries, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, experts warn that the fragile healthcare systems in many African countries could be overwhelmed in the face of a severe outbreak of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has no kind words for the World Health Organisation and he made it clear during his 16th National Address on COVID-19 on Monday when he stated categorically that he purposely refused to add foreign cases of COVID-19 with Ugandan cases.
Just like the US President Donald Trump, Museveni criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for its mismanagement of the novel coronavirus crisis.
He said the WHO has been inconsistent and has issued impractical instructions hence they also need to be advised.
Addressing the nation about COVID-19 in Uganda, Museveni gave the example of the WHO advising the NRM government that people planning to enter the country who are found to have the virus after being tested at the border should be taken in by Uganda and also be counted among those infected in the country.
Museveni said such people are tested before entering the country, so it is unfair to include them among those infected within the country.
“The way the World Health Organization operates is not good. They need help. They wanted us to take in people tested with COVID-19 at the border, but we said no,” Museveni said.
He said the WHO does not know the culture of Uganda.
“They do not know our culture. In Uganda, once a home has a fence and a foreigner has not entered into it, then he cannot be counted as a member of that home.”
He noted, however, that he does not oppose the WHO like US President Donald Trump.
“I do not want to appear like Trump, who opposes the WHO. But I want them to do the right things.”
He said 167 foreigners have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at the borders with neighboring countries and were sent back to their countries.
Currently, Uganda has 805 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and the country has not recorded any COVID-19 deaths.