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Kabale hospital struggles to secure space for COVID-19 patients

Available Covid-19 Isolation Unit at Kabale regional referral hospital (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Kabale, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | bThe Kabale district COVID-19 task force is struggling to find space to fulfil a requirement by the Ministry of health to accommodate 200 COVID-19 patients. 

The Ministry of Health last month guided that all 40 referral hospitals across the country needed to secure a space that can accommodate at least 200 patients in anticipation of more community infections and a full-blown pandemic.

However, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, a designated  COVID-19 treatment facility in Kigezi sub-region has no capacity to accommodate 200 patients. The available space was initially a psychiatric ward which can only accommodate 50 patients, in one go.

Kabale Regional Hospital Director Dr Sophie Namasopo, who is also the chairperson for the district case management committee says that however much they try to follow the guidance, they have no more space at the hospital because all other structures are occupied. 

Kabale acting District Health Officer Alfred Besigensi says that they are considering using tents which can admit more than 50 patients. According to Besigensi, although the health ministry had initially advised referral hospital to prepare for 30 patients, the number was revised upwards when community cases increased. 

On Monday, Kabale Hospital admitted its eighth COVID-19 patient. All of them are truck drivers intercepted from Uganda Rwanda border of Chanika and Uganda Democratic Republic of Congo border of Bunagana in Kisoro district. According to health workers at the facility, the patients are not in a bad condition. 

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