Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kapchorwa general hospital has halted services across departments after 50 of its staff members tested positive for coronavirus disease. The hospital is only open for emergency cases like accidents and deliveries according to a notice issued by the Kapchorwa district Chief Administrative Officer Simon Peter Kandole.
The notice dated September 22 shows that 50 staff have so far tested positive and three lives lost to COVID-19 at the facility. As a result, he added services in the pharmacy, the female and male wards, children’s ward, outpatient department and the chronic care wards will be indefinitely suspended.
Kandole however said that the laboratory, maternity ward and the theater shall partially function to only attend to emergencies. He advised the community to utilize the available health centres within their communities.
Dr Ayubu Wangubo, the Kapchorwa district hospital medical superintendent says that the decision to close the hospital was endorsed by the hospital board after patients numbers escalated. He added that the closure will allow them to properly fumigate the buildings. He said that the reopening of the facility will await guidance from the Ministry of Health.
Fundi Chemuku, a resident of Kapchorwa municipality says that the closure of the health centre came as a surprise and will have a ripple effect on the people especially those with other diseases who have been seeking medical attention from the hospital since it serves the Sebei sub-region.
Esther Chemusto, another resident wants the government to ensure that the medical workers get sufficient protective gears that keep them free of the covid-19 pandemic such that they can provide services to the patients.
At the time of the closure, the hospital had over 70 inpatients who were all asked to leave to finish their medications from home.
Dr Wangubo Ayubu says that the hospital lacks medical protective gears which would protect the medical workers from contracting the disease. He added that the testing kits at the hospital have been used up and that they currently have no capacity to test for COVID-19 yet there is a need for mass testing in the community.
Meanwhile, the hospital which serves as the district isolation centre has been struggling to manage the COVID-19 cases due to lack of financial resources. According to the hospital managers, the 165 million Shillings that government gave to the district task force for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic was used up.