Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Mandela National Stadium treatment facility is now ready to receive COVID-19 asymptomatic patients following the handover today.
According to the health ministry, the facility which has been fitted with 210 beds, will start receiving patients as early as tomorrow according to the COVID-19 case management team.
The available beds have been divided into two wards. The ward for male patients has 104 beds fitted with mattresses While the rest will be left for female patients. A two meter space separates the beds.
The health ministry was handed over the management of the facility officially by the Catholic Relief Services that carried out rehabilitation works on the sports facility.
While receiving the facility, Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the health ministry said that the facility would be used to manage asymptomatic patients. She said that Uganda made a decision to manage all COVID-19 positive cases at designated places to avoid spread of the disease.
This comes as medical personnel under the Uganda Medical Association have advocated for the introduction of home care for asymptomatic cases. The facility will be run by health workers from Kiriddu Referral hospital. Dr Charles Kabugo, the executive director of Kiruddu hospital says that people should not look at the opening of the sports facility as a failure on the part of government to manage COVID-19.
A fifth of the facility has undergone works to be able to accommodate 1,500 patients. According to CRS, the rehabilitation and renovation works cots 400 million shillings. As part of the renovations, the floors, walls, windows and bathroom, facility were worked on. The works also included extending water to parts of the stadium that previously did not have water.
The treatment facility will also have a laboratory where testing of other conditions like malaria will be carried out. Namboole is opened at a time when the health ministry is struggling to admit positive cases to hospitals due to the shortage of space at treating facilities. As of Friday over 400 patients were in their homes.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services says that some of the patients that were still home will be sent to Namboole.
“Since Friday, we have been working towards picking these positive cases and taking them to hospital. As of today, we only have around 100 still in their homes. With the handing over of this space, some of the patients will be brought here,” Dr Mwebesa said.
As of yesterday, Uganda has a total of 3,667 COVID-19 reported cases. 442 deaths have been reported.