By Shamim Nateebwa
Laboratory professionals under Uganda Medical Laboratory Association are asking the national task force on COVID-19 to decentralize the diagnosis and management of the disease, by equipping district hospitals and health centre IVs with necessary supplies to manage cases locally.
According to Erick Okek, an executive member of the association, although the disease has a high transmission rate, it has proven to have a very low mortality rate in Uganda, implying that cases can be managed-cautiously with adequate use of Personal Protective Equipment locally.
He adds that diagnosis can also be decentralized by leveraging the hub centres since each of the 100 hub center already has a gene expert machine originally meant to diagnose Tuberculosis.
The gene expert machine is a form of PCR machine called molecular beacon-which can be reprogrammed to test for coronavirus at district levels hence reducing congestion at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.