Kapchorwa hospital closed after 50 staff test positive for COVID-19

Kapchworwa General hospital

Kapchorwa, Uganda | URN | Kapchorwa General Hospital has halted services across departments after 50 of its staff members tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The hospital is now only open for emergency cases like accidents and deliveries according to a notice issued by the Kapchorwa district chief administrative officer Simon Peter Kandole.

The notice, dated September 22, shows that 50 staff have so far tested positive while three have died of COVID-19 at the facility. As a result, Kandole said services at the hospital pharmacy, the female and male wards, children’s ward, outpatient department, and the chronic care wards will be indefinitely suspended. 

Kandole, however, said that the laboratory, maternity ward and the theatre shall partially operate to only attend to emergencies. He advised the community to utilize the available health centres within their communities.

Dr Ayubu Wangubo, the Kapchorwa district hospital medical superintendent says that the decision to close the hospital was endorsed by the hospital board after patients numbers escalated. He added that the closure will allow them to properly fumigate the buildings. He said that the reopening of the facility will await guidance from the ministry of Health.

“We have gaps in supplies for example PPEs are very minimal. Currently, testing kits have run down, as we speak now only have like 40 strips of testing kits and yet we’re encouraging more people to come for mass testing. As we speak now, we have a positive case who died still lying in the mortuary.

Yesterday, we talked to the relatives encouraging them to come and test. After this burial what are going to use test those people who are going to come out? We appeal to government to really step in very fast to contain this virus, ” Wangubo said.

Fundi Chemuku, a resident of Kapchorwa municipality says that the closure of the health centre came as a surprise and will have a ripple effect on the people especially those with other diseases and have been seeking medical attention from the hospital since it serves the Sebei sub-region.

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At the time of the closure, the hospital had over 70 inpatients who were all asked to leave and finish their medications from home. Dr Wangubo says that the hospital lacks medical protective gears which would protect the medical workers from contracting the disease.

Meanwhile, the hospital which serves as the district isolation centre has been struggling to manage COVID-19 cases due to lack of financial resources. According to the hospital managers, the Shs 165 million that government gave to the district task force for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic was long used up.