Jennifer Nankanja a hygienist at Entebbe regional referral hospital was admitted at the same medical facility on June 20 after contracting Covid19. She later succumbed to the virus on Friday 25, and buried the following day in Mityana district. Nankanja, 45, had worked at the hospital since 1993.
Nankanja’s demise came at a time when fifteen frontline workers at Entebbe hospital, were conformed to have contracted Covid19. “We have even run out of medicine due to an influx of Covid19 patients admitted at the hospital,” intimated one of the medics who preferred to remain anonymous.
Due to the scarcity of medicine, patients are reportedly asked to buy the medicine from the pharmacies. “The same case applies with all these medics who have contracted the virus,” expressed a source at Entebbe hospital. News Excavator has learnt that medics are yet to receive their allowances for the past six months.
Last week, the Entebbe municipality leaders stormed Entebbe regional referral hospital in a move they termed as ‘seeking for answers’ about alternative treatment facility after the area hospital was reserved for Covid19 cases. This came after Entebbe hospital suspended all inpatient services in order to create room for the surging number of Covid19 patients.
During their Thursday visit to the hospital, the municipality MP Micheal Kakembo wondered why the hospital suspended other inpatient services when there’s a new isolation centre within the same vicinity, which can be used to accommodate Covid19 patients.
He also pointed out the issue of delayed allowances for medics handling Covid19 patients saying, they withstand many risks while treating the pandemic, and therefore, shouldn’t be delayed to receive their payments. “Even the non medical staff like cleaners, gatekeepers and ambulance drivers should earn equivalent allowance as other staff, since they face similar risks as others who are engaged in the treatment,” appealed Kakembo.
Charles Matovu, the MP for Busiro South constituency, appealed to the government to install a bigger oxygen plant at Entebbe hospital. “We have realised that patients at Entebbe hospital consume a lot of oxygen and yet, the hospital continues to provide oxygen to other health facilities in a collective effort to treat Covid19 patients,” noted Matovu.
In response, Dr. Moses Muwanga the hospital director welcomed the gesture from the area leaders to follow up on the health issues in the community. He reiterated the severity caused by the existing Covid19 variants which he said, claim five to six patients on average everyday.
According to Dr. Muwanga, a single Covid19 patient consumes 300kg of oxygen in one night. “Patients consume up to 70 oxygen cylinders in one night and yet our oxygen plant only produces oxygen that can fill 40 cylinders, thus we have to outsource the the balance,” noted Dr. Muwanga.
About the isolation facility, Dr. Muwanga is hopeful that the centre is near completion. He noted however, that even if the isolation facility is complete, it will not be able to accommodate the increasing number of Covid19 patients in Uganda.
Fabrice Rulinda the Entebbe municipality mayor intimated of how he’s still engaging the permanent secretary for the ministry of health regarding alternative treatment centres from where Entebbe residents and the surrounding communities can seek medical services. “I believe, we shall have a positive plan and work this out together,” Rulinda said.