Bunyoro Uganda | URN | The lack of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE for health workers in Bunyoro region has triggered panic and discomfort among leaders are residents.
They argue that in the absence of garments to protect health care workers, many of them are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection as they face the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak response.
Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Health Minister Dr Florence Asiimwe says that most government health facilities in the region are not equipped with the necessary gear to protect medics against such infections despite working from the porous border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr Asiimwe says that during her visit to various health facilities in all the eight districts of Bunyoro region, she discovered that all the health facilities are ill-equipped and cannot ably attend to COVID-19 cases. She points out health facilities like Buliisa Health Center IV, Kagadi General Hospital, Kakumiro Health Center IV and Kibaale Health Center IV among others.
Dr Asiimwe says that enough treatment gadgets like gloves, facemasks, sanitizers, infrared thermometers should be availed to the health facilities to protect the health workers against possible infections.
The call comes two days after one person from Masindi district in Bunyoro sub-region tested positive to COVID-19 from random testing as part of the ongoing rapid assessment survey being tested in Makerere University’s laboratory. The rapid assessment survey was started by the Ministry of Health to establish the level of community transmission of COVID-19 in different parts of Uganda.
Dr Asiimwe cautioned the people of Bunyoro especially those settling at the porous borders with DR Congo to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons to health and security agencies.
Buliisa District Health Officer Dr Nelson Naisye acknowledges that most health facilities in the district especially the health center III’s are ill-equipped yet they are situated at the porous border with DRC where the Congolese have continued to cross and access health services from.
Naisye too challenges the government to equip health facilities with enough COVID-19 treatment Equipment to allow them to operate effectively.
Dr Patrick Baguma, the Acting District Health Officer-DHO of Masindi also acknowledges that the situation at most health facilities in the district is wanting, adding that some health workers at the lower health facilities fear to operate without the necessary protective gadgets like gloves and facemasks.
Kagadi District Health officer says attention should not only be put on District hospitals but those at lower levels must be considered with the necessary COVID-19 treatment gear. Uganda currently has 85 COVID-19 confirmed cases.