Name of health worker: Itwalo Rose Ekadu
Hoima Regional Referral Hospital
A traumatizing experience of managing confirmed COVID-19 cases
Managing the confirmed COVID-19 cases was fear-filled, traumatizing but utilizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gave us the courage to continue our work. However, there was a big challenge of inadequate supplies of PPE from National Medical Stores (NMS) especially medical face masks. This led the hospital administration to prioritize the COVID-19 Treatment Unit (CTU) in receiving masks, leaving the general hospital with very limited supplies.
The few masks available were distributed; each staff member attending to general patients was given one face mask per week. In an attempt to further solve the problem of limited face masks, the hospital administration made double-layered cloth masks for staff which were not meeting the World Health Organization or Ministry of Health standards. And, this arouse fear among staff worsened by inexistent proper assessment of suspected cases and their treatment together with other patients in the general hospital. As a result, many staff attending to patients in the general wards contracted COVID19 turning positive and some of them dying in general wards.
Some clinical staff shunned their duties for fear of infecting their families at home.
With all these challenges we faced, the hospital administration created space at the CTU, where suspects were admitted and given proper care while waiting for their COVID19 results which could take about 4-7days. Additionally, an isolation centre at the Outpatient department was identified where suspects are separated from other patients. Though, inadequate medical face masks, sanitisers, face shields are still a big problem.