Name of health worker: Dr. Akello Jackliñe
Occupation: Obstetrician and gynecologist
Hospital: Nebbi District Hospital
I happen to be the technical team leader for COVID-19 response at my facility, due to the fact that I was a national trainer for IPC and Ebola case management. So, I held meetings and a CME about COVID-19 with my staff and set up a response Taskforce. Interestingly we had expired PPEs of more than 5years old which we used for demonstration.
That very day we set the team, we got two suspected cases of long-distance drivers who had traveled from Kenya and one had almost all the symptoms, it was a bad experience! The district availed us 50 coveralls and JIK and we mobilized here and there for other things. Samples were then taken by the national team the following day and it took 5 days to get results back while we kept these two in our isolation unit, at least we had a prepared isolation unit. Thankfully, their results came back negative and we discharged them.
The cost of maintaining these two for those 5 days was unbearable, we had only 2 trained nurses but my staff showed remarkable courage and worked in the unit. Upon hearing that there were suspected cases, other patients discharged themselves from the hospital, and the rumor went around that we had 7 confirmed cases! Other staff and the community stigmatized those who were involved in the care of the suspected cases.
By the time we discharged them, they were already very uncooperative due to delay in getting results that at one point we couldn't enter their rooms due to fear of being attacked. We were also short of PPEs as we had only 2 coveralls left, I actually served them lunch myself with only a mask and gloves as nobody would risk!
Call to action: We need more PPEs, staff training to handle COVID-19 cases, and a fund for caring for the admitted patients.