Infected doctors: Service delivery to be disrupted

Members of Doctors without borders NGO set up an Ebola treatment isolation unit at the Mubende regional referral hospital in Uganda on September 24, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • The mortality rate for Ebola ranges from 25 to 90 percent, making it one of the most deadly diseases. 

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has warned that the Ebola infections and isolation of infected doctors and health workers will strain the limited workforce and increase fear among the remaining health workers. 

Dr Samuel Oledo, the UMA president, said the country is already having a shortage of health workers to handle patients who need various health services. He said this will affect further service delivery to patients. 

“Many of the patients, who were isolated as suspected and probable cases, had to flee because they were not getting the support they needed,” he said. 

He appealed to the government to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment for the health workers. 

Ebola in Uganda
The country experienced outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2000, 2014, 2017, and 2018, with the first outbreak claiming the highest number of lives, 224, according to information from the World Health Organisation. The mortality rate for Ebola ranges from 25 to 90 percent, making it one of the most deadly diseases. 

Dr Herbert Luswata, the UMA secretary general, said many patients are scared of coming to Mubende hospital, situated at the epicentre, for fear of contracting the disease. The news about the infection of health workers could worsen this fear. 

He said some health workers are also fearing to handle patients, especially the intern doctors, who are critical in health facilities because of low numbers of health workers employed by the government.

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