The former president and head of Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr Ekwaro Obuku, has warned government against putting every effort on COVID-19 and forgetting about other diseases that claim hundreds of lives of Ugandans each month.
While speaking to journalists, Dr Obuku said there is need to monitor the status of other diseases with special concern dedicated to the key leading causes of deaths whether they have reduced, or increased in order to avoid the danger of excess deaths.
“The key ones are malaria which last year killed 4,501 people, pneumonia 2,800 people, anaemia 2,200 and tuberculosis 1,400 last year. All this data is from annual health sector performance report of 2018/2019. So with the danger of the lockdown, there may be excess deaths,” Dr Obuku warned.
According to the medical doctor, data from the Ministry of Health annual sector performance report of 2018/2019 indicated that on a daily average 3.1 mothers are lost, malaria kills 12.3 people whereas pneumonia and anaemia kill 7.8 and 6.1 people respectively.
When computed, according to him, the number of people who die per day in the 34 days of the lockdown are 800. A figure almost ten times higher than the number of infections for COVID-19, the country has had.
“What we want to see is if this number has gone up or has it remained the same, and then why are we not monitoring these numbers and we are only talking about COVID-19 which has killed nobody,” Dr Obuku further said.