Worry over inadequate Covid-19 PPE as medical students return

Wednesday September 16 2020
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This picture taken on Septembeer 16, 2020 shows Officials from Cairo Bank Uganda and Makerere University displaying some of the PPE donated by the bank. PHOTO /GABRIEL BUULE

By Gabriel Buule

Patrick Ssekimpi, the head of Orthopedics department at Makerere School of Health Sciences, has expressed concern over limited Covid-19 protective gear for medical students who will be returning this weekend.

Ssekimpi explained that as the department plans to reopen, the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a concern amidst uncertainties and reliance on the seemingly overwhelmed government.

He told journalists in Kampala on Wednesday that as much as government was providing some medical equipment, there is fear that the department will be overwhelmed and will possibly run out of PPE as undergraduates who are estimated to be over 1,000 resume studies.

“We will be receiving undergraduates next week but we are not sure if we shall be able to sustain all of them with PPE that is provided by government. We thank all those who are coming out to support us and we call for more,” Mr Ssekimpi said at a press conference where Makerere School of Health Sciences received Shs100 million boost in personal protective equipment from Cairo Bank Uganda.

The items donated by the bank include automated sanitizer machines, sanitizers and KN95 face masks.

The bank’s managing director, Ahmad Maker Nada, said the donation is to boost the students in the field to mitigate chances of contracting the virus.


Ms Sylvia Jagwe, the bank’s executive director also revealed that as the bank looks to help communities, they choose to prioritize health first by coming to rescue of frontline workers and medical students.

She noted that the bank had a plan to help Ugandans who have been affected by the pandemic and for now they have created a new account called Sacco account that will boost Ugandans through Saccos to enjoy burden free benefits.

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday confirmed 143 new infections as Uganda’s confirmed cases rose to 5,266.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the ministry’s director general health services further said two people had succumbed to Covid-19 as the virus fatalities on Wednesday rose to 60.