Kasese District COVID-19 task force is stuck with COVID-19 patients after the regional referral hospital got full.
Fort Portal Regional referral hospital was designated to handle patients from across the Tooro-Rwenzori region as the government decentralised COVID-19 case treatment centres.
Kasese has recorded over 70 cases in the new wave within two weeks. Dr Yusuf Baseke the Kasese District Health Officer says they don’t have any alternative facility to handle the patient and have advised them to go for home-based care.
He says the district is financially incapacitated to create an emergency quarantine and isolation centres.
Dr Baseke notes that the COVID-19 task force is still making consultations with the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders to create a holding centre for the patients.
Baseke says the numbers of covid-19 cases in Kasese are expected to rise following the closure of schools which forced learners to return home. According to Baseke, the district lacks the basic facilities including oxygen plants to generate oxygen for ill patients.
The district is also considering reopening the isolation centres at Bwera Hospital, Kilembe mines and Kasese municipal health centres.
The Kasese Deputy RDC Joshua Masereka advised patients put under home-based care to adhere to the guidelines.
Masereka says the District Covid 19 Taskforce has embarked on risk communication, testing and tracing of contacts to mitigate community infections.
Brian Kisembo, the covid 19 focal people for Fort portal City and Kabarole district, says that there are 22 patients admitted at the treatment unit at Fort Portal referral hospital, while more than 30 cases are being managed under the home-based care managed.
Kisembo says that the hospital has received a new consignment of materials for Covid-19 testings among which include rapid diagnostic kits, gloves and an 80-bed capacity tent.
However, Kisembo says that the hospital is facing challenges in the management of the pandemic. He cites the shortage of ICU Beds, ambulances and identification of new contacts especially those who deliberately refuse to disclose their status despite having tested positive.
Major regional referral hospitals are currently failing to address the increasing demand for space and oxygen with many opting to ration oxygen.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary indicates that they are responding to the challenges by supporting the hospitals with additional supplies including beds and oxygen cylinders from Kampala.