The presence of several porous routes at the Busia border is hindering efforts by medical workers to conduct a better Coronavirus (Covid -19) screening.
Health workers attached to Busia One Stop Border Post-OSBP Coronavirus screening center say that porous routes are a big challenge to the smooth screening exercise for the people entering the country from Kenya.
On Friday, Kenya registered its first case of the Coronavirus, this has put authorities at the border on high alert and has since intensified the screening. On 28th February 2020, the Ministry of Health operationalized the Busia boarder health facility which is at a level of a Health Center II. They recruited 6 health workers to conduct the screening.
Dr. Godfrey Barasa, a Laboratory technician at the facility says that people from neighboring Kenya are resisting being screened twice whenever they are entering in Uganda.
He noted that most people who are coming from the Kenyan side have resorted to using porous routes majorly at Sofia and Marachi where there are no screening centers.
Busia district is dominated by cross boarder business activities where most people cross to neighboring Kenya to purchase items and sell them in Uganda and vise-versa.
Vivian Birungi, a nurse at the screening center says that they want local leaders to help do sensitization against the illegal routes so that people entering the country use the main gate and ensure they are screened. She added that there is need to add on the man power at the screening points.
Geoffrey Macho, the Busia municipality member of parliament wants screening centers opened up at all porous routes.
Erineo Mayende, a resident of Madibira village expressed worry that since the disease has also entered African countries, it could find it’s way to Uganda through some of the porous routes.
Godfrey Kawo Mbulu, the Chairman LCI chairperson Mungungu village says that there is need for police to close all the porous routes because the area is at risk of having the Coronavirus outbreak.
Elepot Eriya, the Busia District Police Commander says that police is sensitizing local leaders from villages within the border points to ensure residents use the main gate at Busia customs.
Paul Kalikwan, the Busia Deputy Resident District Commissioner says that the area has a big challenge because some people have their relatives in neighboring Kenya and many of them use the porous routes .