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Health workers in Arua decry shortage of PPE

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health workers in Arua district have expressed concern about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment- PPEs. They argue that the shortage of the PPEs is exposing them to risks of contracting COVID-19.

Healthcare workers rely on protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others.

The health workers from different health centers note that there is limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.

During a meeting with officials of Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union-UNAMU at Oli health center IV in Arua Central Division, Vidal Andama, the chairperson UNAMU greater Arua branch says most times they are forced to use disposable masks longer than the required period. He also adds that many health workers attend to patients without PPEs.

Some of the nurses and midwives have fears that if not addressed, the continued lack or shortage of the PPEs could force some of them to abandon duty.

Justus Cherop Keplagat, the President Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union challenged the health workers to ensure that they use masks at all times not only at workplaces to avoid risks.

According to Cherop, no nurse or midwife should risk working in a situation where the risk of contracting a pandemic is high and there are no protective gears.

Last week, five health workers in Arua tested positive for covid-19 and this was largely attributed to inadequate PPEs and inconsistent use of them.

In June, doctors under the Uganda Medical Association asked medical workers to lay down their tools if they are not provided with PPE.

According to the association, the body has recorded several cases where health workers have not been provided with PPEs.

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