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Health centres in Gulu run out of personal protection equipment

Ministry of Health’s PPE stock supplies status for the last week of April 2020, Uganda’s PPE stocks were critically low

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health centres in Gulu district are experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The COVID-19 Gulu task force designated Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor as isolation and treatment centres. The two hospitals are complemented by the UPDF 4th Division military hospital.

Alfred Okello, the in-charge of case management attached to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor says that shortage of PPEs in the facility is overstretching their capacity after activating the treatment centre.

Bishop Loum Janani, the in-charge of case management at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital disclosed that the facility has an insufficient supply of PPE that includes disposable N95 masks among others.

According to Janani, the facility needs more vital PPE supplies like face-masks, medical gloves and isolation gowns to manage the sudden, unexpected increase in patient volume that would otherwise exceed the present capacity.

The District Health Officer, Yoweri Idiba says that across all the 43 government, private and not-for-profit health centres in the district, PPE remains in shortage threatening healthcare services against COVID-19.

According to Idiba, the National Medical Stores (NMS) last delivered supplies to Gulu in April and more supplies are expected in June.

Currently, there are 14 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 patients receiving treatment at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and over 50 suspected cases in institutional quarantine centres.

According to the Ministry of Health’s PPE stock supplies status for the last week of April 2020, Uganda’s PPE stocks are critically low and what is available cannot be enough for the country’s COVID-19 response plan for the next three months.

This has been attributed to global shortages increased by global demand and ensuing constrained supply of critical logistics for COVID-19. There is growing demand world over for gloves, surgical masks, surgical N96 respirators, face shields, protective gear and test kit.

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