Medics involved in the treatment of COVID-19 have asked the government to set up follow up clinics.
They say the current practice of government discharging patients the moment they test negative leaves many of them experiencing long term effects with no medical care.
According to scientists, people who suffer from COVID-19 experience long-term effects sometimes such as brain fog, dementia, muscle pain, fatigue and heart palpitations. Other patients suffer from mental illnesses such as depression.
Dr Freddie Nakwagala, a senior consultant physician at Mulago National Referral Hospital, one of the COVID-19 treatment centers in the country says that the clinics are important to monitor the condition of patients after they are discharged.
At the moment, no endeavour has been set up by the government to track the patients to find out if any face any long term effects of the disease.
Dr Juliet Nakku, the Executive Director of Butabiika National Referral Mental hospital says that more research needs to be carried out on how COVID-19 affects mental health. She says the easiest way to do this is through clinics that follow up patients. This she says will help scientists to get a better understanding of the disease.
However, due to funding challenges, this might not be possible.
Dr Charles Olaro, the Director of Curative Services at the health ministry says that at the moment, they cannot set up the clinics.
“COVID-19 is a new disease and at the moment, we do not understand most of the post COVID complications while as it would be appropriate to set up clinics for post COVID, we have decided to manage the patients at usual clinics. If there are hormonal challenges, then people with diabetes will have to go to the usual clinics while those with mental issues will have to go to already set up hospitals,” he said.
To date, Uganda has reported over 8,000 recovered patients from the disease.