Give health workers adequate protection

Friday April 10 2020

Butenga health centre IV which is currently

Butenga health centre IV which is currently being used as an isolation centre for Bukomansimbi District. PHOTO BY GERTRUDE MUTYABA 

By EDITOR

On Wednesday, this publication reported that at least six nurses in Bukomansimbi District had been placed under quarantine as a precaution on suspicion that they could have contracted the deadly coronavirus.

The nurses attached to Kisojo Health Centre II were isolated at Butenga Health Centre IV in Bukomansimbi District. They had reportedly interacted with one of the contacts of a patient who recently tested positive of the virus in Kalangala District.

Kalangala registered her first Covid -19 case on March 29. As of April 8, Uganda reported 53 Covid-19 cases. However, there are still concerns about whether our health workers have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need.
Health workers from different parts of the country have been reported in the media complaining about inadequate or lack of PPE.

These are protective clothing, helmets, mask, surgical glove, goggle, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection.
The purpose of PPE in the case of Covid-19 is to reduce a health worker’s exposure to the virus. Yet there have been reports of health workers handling suspected cases of coronavirus without any protection at all and putting them, their families and their patients at great risk.
On top of inadequate personal protective equipment, there have been reports of health workers being stopped and harassed by security agencies enforcing the curfew.

Luckily, the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, during President Museveni’s address on Wednesday evening, said they were working round the clock to make sure that our heroic frontline healthcare staff feel safe, and that government is behind the effort to ensure that PPE reaches the frontline fighters.

“The gloves are available, Nyanza Textile Industries Limited (NYTIL) is now making reusable masks and we can procure these for all health workers,” Dr Aceng aid.
This will be in addition to the 500 PPE and 90 pieces of face shields which was on April 2 donated to the health workers.

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We can only hope for the better for our coronavirus frontline fighters.

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editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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