The lack of protective gears at different health facilities in Jinja is exposing health workers to Covid-19.
At five health centre IVs which include Bugembe, Mpumudde, Walukuba, Budondo and Buwenge, frontline health workers had run out of gloves and facemasks. In some facilities, those turning up for testing were purchasing protective gears for the health workers before testing.
Ruth Namukuve, a health worker in Buwenge says that the supplies received from the district health officials are insufficient to effectively attend to the ever-increasing numbers of Covid-19 suspects who seek services at the facility daily.
Shabilah Namukose, a resident of Budondo says that her sister has battled Covid-19 for the past 11 days under the home-based care arrangement and they are mandated with purchasing protective gears for the visiting health workers.
“My younger sister is battling Covid-19 and is being monitored every 48 hours however, whenever a health worker shows up to monitor her recovery process, we always purchase protective gears worth 10,000 Shillings per visit,” she says.
The Jinja district Covid-19 surveillance focal person, Richard Luvaluka says that 110 people have tested positive for covid-19 in the past two weeks and out of these, 10 of them are frontline health workers, who are supposed to examine and manage covid-19 patients on home-based care program.
Luvaluka stresses that, although some patients with mild symptoms are monitored through routine phone calls and text messages, physical outreaches by health workers are paramount in ensuring that covid-19 patients adhere to the set rules of self-isolation and also ensuring timely referral of victims, whose conditions worsen in two weeks.
He adds that health workers are willing to selflessly execute their duty of managing Covid-19 infections within the communities however, some of them are slowly pulling out due to lack of sufficient protective equipment, mandated with ensuring their safety while administering home-based treatment to covid19 patients.