COVID-19: Rwanda introduces home-based treatment

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 25 August 2020 at 05:42

Rwanda has started a program allowing some COVID-19 patients to be treated from their homes, enabling medical practitioners and the COVID-19 task force as a whole to be relieved from the heavy burden as new cases surge.

Rwanda Biomedical Centre Director General Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana explained that the patients that are not in critical condition and who have space where they can quarantine themselves without causing any risk of transmission can be followed up from their homes.

“Currently, 85% COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic and are not in critical condition. Thus, we have decided to start a program to follow several patients from home provided that they have enough space and cannot put anyone at risk of infection,” Sabin said.

However, the number of patients placed with this option is still small with less than 100 patients under treatment from home.

“To track patients in this condition, we put a bracelet on their hand so that they do not go out and infect other people at the market or other places. We are registering a success story; in Rusisi for example, 20 patients in this category were discharged. In Kigali, we registered recoveries, too,” Nsanzimana said.

In case of any sign of concern, the patient or guardian calls the medics; this patient will then be taken for special treatment.

“This will give the medical practitioners room to concentrate on critical cases; taking several tests, and assuring access to ICU facilities."

“In most cases we deal with other diseases that they suffer from to increase their body immunity against COVID-19. Understandably, this category includes a few cases, just 15%. We have the capacity to take care of them, but of course, we should keep working on that option to treat a bigger number of patients from home,” Nsanzimana said.

Currently, Nsanzimana said, 10 patients are on respiratory support.

Rwanda has started a program allowing some COVID-19 patients to be treated from their homes