Medical workers at Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital are in panic after ten other medics contracted COVID-19 while on duty. The ten medics have been on treatment for three weeks now, putting a toll on the facility which has more than 130 patients, 48 of them in critical condition.
Entebbe Hospital Principal Hospital Administrator Muhammad Mubiru explains that the medics could have contracted COVID-19 due to congestion at the screening area, where they were spending longer hours as a result of human resource constraints.
During the first wave, medics would spend a maximum of an hour inside the ward to limit exposure. However, due to the big number of patients now, medical teams sometimes spend more than four hours in the wards, while those attending to critically ill patients take between five to seven hours in the wards.
Mubiru, however, says the hospital expects to receive more health workers to reduce the workload and set up tents outside the outpatient’s department to address congestion at the screening desk. Another tent has been erected for relatives and friends of in-patients.
Mubiru says that the panic intensified after the death of Jennifer Nankanja, a nurse who succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday. Nankanja, 45, had worked at the hospital since 1993 and tested positive on June 15. Nankanja is the hospital’s first medic to succumb to COVID-19, and, according to Mubiru, one of the most dedicated nurses at the facility.
The hospital currently runs seven COVID-19 treatment units (CTU), of which each unit has at least 30 beds. Nankanja used to work in CTU2 before she contracted the disease two weeks ago.