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COVID-19: Entebbe hospital runs out of PPES, case numbers surge

By Paul Kiwuuwa and Julius Luwemba

Added 22nd September 2020 09:19 PM

Dr Chris Nsereko, the head of the hospital, said the hospital has run out of PPEs, exposing health workers to more risk.

COVID-19: Entebbe hospital runs out of PPES, case numbers surge

Medics and support staff at Entebbe Grade B Hospital. (Photo by Julius Luwemba)

Dr Chris Nsereko, the head of the hospital, said the hospital has run out of PPEs, exposing health workers to more risk.

HEALTH   VIRUS

WAKISO - Medics at Entebbe Grade B Hospital have expressed concern over the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases referred to the facility and shortage of protective gear.

The number of patients admitted at the facility now stands at 160. The management of the hospital said the surge in the number of patients has also put a strain on the supply of Personal Protective Gear (PPEs) for health workers.

Dr Chris Nsereko, the head of the hospital, said the hospital has run out of PPEs, exposing health workers to more risk.

He said the PPEs out of stock include overalls, surgical gowns, goggles, N95 masks and gumboots.

Nsereko made the remarks during the celebrations to mark the World Patient Safety Day at the hospital, recently.

He attributed the shortage to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted at the centre.

Sr Roselyn Mutonyi, a principal nursing officer at Entebbe Grade B Hospital, said patients are taken to the facility without the management being notified for prior preparation.

"We just see ambulances bringing the patients and going back for more," Sr Mutonyi said.

Nsereko said, currently, 90 health workers are deployed at the facility and medics are expected to dispose of the protective gear every time they attend to a patient.

When contacted, Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary of the health ministry, said her ministry will ensure that PPEs are taken to the facility in the shortest time possible.

"The problem is that the PPEs are disposed of after use, as the stock runs out. However, since they notified us, we shall ensure a steady supply for all COVID-19 treatment units countrywide," she added.

Nsereko said some patients are admitted when they are already in critical condition, which requires more than one staff to handle them.

He also attributed the increase in community cases to the population's failure to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the health ministry.

Beatrice Oling Adong, the senior hospital administrator, said even the health workers are not enough to handle the number of patients at the facility.

"Currently, the staffing level is at 30%," she said.

This, according to Sr Mutonyi, translates to 110 health workers who are currently handling cases at the hospital.

"Yet, a medical worker is not allowed inside the COVID-19 treatment unit more than once a day, in order to minimise the risk of health workers contracting the virus," she explained.

However, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the public relations officer of the health ministry, said 160 COVID-19 patients cannot overwhelm Entebbe Grade B Hospital, which was built with a bed capacity of 200 patients.

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