Uganda: Inadequate Protective Gear Worries Health Workers At Entebbe Hospital

18 September 2020

Health workers at Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital are worried over the inadequacy of personal protective equipment at the facility, saying they are at risk of contracting the deadly coronavirus.

The hospital is one of the facilities with the biggest number of Covid-19 patients in the country.

"The problem we have now is the lack of protective gear and disinfectants. When we had just started, we had so many donors but as I speak now we don't even have enough sanitizers. It's a challenge, we need to be protected so that we are able to treat the patients," the Principal Nursing Officer, Ms Roselyn Mutonyi Walimbwa, said on Thursday.

Ms Mutonyi, who also doubles as the Infection, Prevention, and Control Focal Person, stated that they currently face heavy workloads due to the big number of patients.

"Right now we have more than 160 Covid-19 patients at this hospital plus those with other health issues, which necessitates us to be having sufficient protective gear and disinfectants to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We plead to the well-wishers to give us sanitizers because without them the risk of people contracting coronavirus from this hospital will be high," she said.

Ms Mutonyi revealed that since the outbreak of the pandemic in Uganda, the hospital has been able to operate six pregnant mothers suffering from COVID-19, appealing to different stakeholders to continue supporting them until when the pandemic is no more.

Dr Chris Nsereko, the infectious disease specialist said that since the first Covid-19 patient was confirmed in Uganda, Entebbe Hospital is the only one that has not had any of their health workers contracting the disease, because they had enough disinfectants and protective gear.

"Shortage of critical PPE and disinfection supplies is jeopardizing the ability to safely treat patients and protect our frontline health workers," he said, appealing to the Ministry of Health, NMS not to compromise the lives of health workers.

However, Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson refuted claims that there are insufficient protective gear and disinfectants at Entebbe Hospital.

"There isn't inadequate protective gear at that hospital because the ministry has been supplying them with enough necessities; and when they are done, they know the right channels to ask for other equipment," he said.

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