Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Coronavirus disease-2019 epidemic response in Uganda: The need to strengthen and engage primary healthcare

Innocent K. Besigye, Michael Mulowooza, Jane Namatovu
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2443 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2443 | © 2020 Innocent K. Besigye, Michael Mulowooza, Jane Namatovu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2020 | Published: 04 June 2020

About the author(s)

Innocent K. Besigye, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Michael Mulowooza, Department of Community Health, Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Jinja, Uganda
Jane Namatovu, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


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Abstract

In Uganda, the numbers of new coronavirus disease cases have continued to increase slowly since the first case was confirmed. Given that the disease is likely to be holoendemic, the role of primary care (PC) with its features of comprehensiveness, accessibility, coordination and continuity, functioning at the heart of a primary healthcare (PHC) approach, will be important. The elements of PC are applicable in the epidemic preparation, case finding and management, follow-up and post-epidemic phases of responding to this pandemic. This also presents opportunities and lessons for strengthening PHC as well as for reflections on missed opportunities. The effective use of available resources in response to the epidemic should mainly focus on community mobilisation and PHC teams for the prevention, screening, testing and treatment of mild and moderate cases.

Keywords

epidemics; primary care; family physician; primary healthcare; epidemic response

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