By Aldon Walukamba G
Ugandans can now access COVID-19 rapid diagnostic (RDT) tests at a cheaper cost from 20 Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) clinics in Uganda.
Dr. Annet Nagudi, Director of WISH2ACTION project at RHU says the market price for each COVID 19 antigen RDT test is 40,000 shillings. The price is low in order to allow the vulnerable and underserved people access COVID 19 RDT tests that are offered at a more expensive price in other outlets.
“The RDT tests that pick ou the outer particles of the coronavirus will be carried out, but those clients found to be negative, but with symptoms, their samples will be transported to undergo a thorough polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the government facilities in Uganda,” Dr. Nagudi says.
Dr. Kenneth Buyinza, RHU Manager Clinical Services says more than 60 RHU health experts at RHU underwent a competent RDT COVID 19 testing, training exercise by the Ministry of Health Officials.
“Following the rigorous training, in RDT testing of COVID 19 among our medical personnel, we are now ready to start testing COVID 19 at RHU clinics,” Buyinza says.
Currently, the clinics are equipped with all the RDT testing and personnel protective equipment’s in all the branches and ready to treat those who will be found with COVID 19 after having undergone RDT testing.
According to Jackson Chekweko, RHU Executive Director, several Ugandans from various regions and districts of are shying away from the COVID 19 RDT testing services despite efforts by the health ministry, public and private entities effortlessly popularizing the services. This is because of lack of skilled personnel, services in some parts of the country and the high cost paid for the RDT testing.
“We therefore call upon the public to embrace the services RHU is offering with its wide network of clinics throughout Uganda, in the quest to fight COVID 19 in Uganda, ” Chekweko says.
Chekweko says RDT testing at RHU will start with Owino, Bwaise and Katego clinics in Kampala and those in the central region of Uganda like Luweero, Mityana and Iganga inclusive as pilots.
Currently RDT tests undertaken from various accredited health centres in Uganda go for a minimum of 50,000 shillings.
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