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COVID-19: Lira regional hospital should prepare to handle more cases

A brand new ambulance for LRRH

Lira, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Ministry of Health officials have advised the health team in Lira District to brace up to handle more positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients as the country continue to register more cases. 

Although Lira is already overwhelmed with patients just like the other Referral hospitals in the region, the officials says more patients will have to be brought in since sporadic cases are still being confirmed. 

Currently Regional Referral Hospitals in Northern Uganda have more numbers of patients that other regions. Arua has 18 patients, Lira 21 and 65 are being treated in Gulu. 

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health services was in Lira on Saturday meeting the medical team. He said the hospitals in the Northern part of Uganda have lots of patients because there are many coming from Elegu border and they are automatically distributed around the region first. 

Dr. Mwebesa explained that the Ministry will have to increase the capacity of the regional Referral Hospitals like Lira to help them manage more patients who will be brought to them shortly. 

“For each referral hospital, we want you to develop high dependency units and also at least a minimum of 10 ICUs to manage the critical cases,” he added. He says the ministry will not decentralize COVID- 19 services to general Hospitals since it paralyses other health services and the facilities. 

“That was our initial thinking but of recent we are changing our approach a bit because we realized that in some hospitals, the moment you take there  COVID-19 patients, then the continuity of care becomes disrupted.” 

“For example, if you go to Entebbe Hospital now, there is no antenatal clinic, there is no immunization and everything has become COVID-19.” he added.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng concurred with the director general saying essential services must be offered to the community and thus COVID – 19 services cannot be decentralized. 

With the incoming of more patients, the Minister explained that there is need to be very vigilant to avoid more infections through the four stages of pandemics. 

Pandemics like COVID-19 presents in four stages like; Importation, which Uganda as a Country is already done with and the second stage is sporadic cases which are currently being confirmed especially at the Border Districts.  Stage three is the clusters of infection which happens when the sporadic cases are not dealt with and the last stage is the community transmission. 

The Health Minister says “you cannot jump any of these stages unless me and you work very hard to ensure that we do not move to clusters.” 

“We have a lot of work to do outside of the isolation facilities. Doing the right things and ensuring that we pick up all kinds of infection that is there,” she added. The Minister said the challenge of inadequate staffing at Lira Regional Hospital is not new and the ministry has been trying to solve it.

Earlier on, Dr. Stephen Obbo, the Lira Hospital Director had informed the team about the inadequate staffing which he said is the biggest challenge hindering the fight against COVID-19. 

As part of preparation, the Ministry of Health has delivered to LRRH a brand new ambulance registration number UG 661M to help with the challenge of transportation.



One comment

  1. Bwambale Mitusera

    lira district should be given more days of lockdown

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