Forging resilience within the COVID-19 pandemic

Forging resilience within the COVID-19 pandemic

Name of health worker: Avayo Geoffrey

Occupation: Nurse

Hoima Regional Referral Hospital

Forging resilience within the COVID-19 pandemic

My experience managing COVID19 patients started right from the time Hoima Regional Referral hospital received and confirmed COVID19 patients for management. There was no screening done at the entry point from 5.00 pm in the evening to 8.00 am the next morning which made patients and attendants enter the hospital wards without being screened for COVID19 during that time.

Inappropriate screening for COVID19 at the hospital entry point caused by not having a fully-equipped screening area present such as temperature guns which had no batteries affecting the ability to measure temperature for some days. In addition, there were no appropriate PPE for staff to use including face masks to give to the suspected patients therefore no proper assessment was done on them. This resulted in some patients and staff testing positive for COVID19 within the hospital. It also made staff working in a different ward to fear attending to patients with signs and symptoms related to COVID19.

A temporary holding place for suspects was later created in the general outpatient department in collaboration with the laboratory and the surveillance team as an attempt to solve all these challenges that cropped up including the fear amongst health workers. All this was still not to the WHO/ MOH standard.  There was a need for continuous counselling and psychosocial support for the COVID19 patients because of stigmatisation. And, most of the asymptomatic patients were denying their positive results simply because they did not present with signs and symptoms and were not given drugs during their management.

To address this, we worked hand in hand with the laboratory coordinator to follow up with the delayed results from Kampala because this inconvenience made patients that were due for discharge so angry with the staff. Even the explanation from the staff about the delayed results could not help much as some of the patients went on a hunger strike. This compromised our COVID19 patient management. We, therefore, held meetings that focused on discussing the issues that staff were facing in the CTU.

There is a need for support from the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and non-governmental organisations in providing for appropriate PPEs and equipment for proper screening and assessment at the hospital entrances. And to improve on the welfare of staff on the COVID19 management team so as to motivate them.