The management of Kalisizo General Hospital in Kyotera district is struggling to convince health workers to attend to patients effectively amidst the escalation of COVID-19 community infections. Kalisizo hospital has registered an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases among patients seeking health care at the facility.
According to reports, many of the staff at the hospital are scared of attending to patients due to the apparent increased risk of contracting the virus in the line of duty. On average, the hospital records ten positive COVID-19 cases each day.
Dr. Joseph Kateregga, the Medical Superintendent Kalisizo General Hospital, says the high number of cases they are registering informs the fear among staff. He reveals that ten health workers at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent past, which has greatly scared the remaining staff and affected their morale because of safety concerns.
Dr. Kateregga has asked the Ministry of Health to provide the health workers with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment-PPE to assure them of their safety, noting that almost all departments are susceptible to the virus.
Besides the poor staff morale, Dr. Kateregga indicates that the hospital is challenged by the lack of a special ward dedicated for COVID-19 management and as a result, many cases end up appearing in the wards with other patients, which also increases the risk of transmission for patients and health workers.
However, Dr. Kateregga indicates they are trying their best to provide services within the available resources.
One of the health workers who preferred anonymity to speak freely on the matter told Uganda Radio Network that they are also demoralized by the government’s failure to accord special treatment to health workers who contract the virus in their line of duty.
The health worker argues that their colleagues are treated like other ordinary patients despite their great sacrifice coupled with the fatigue, they are suffering. Last week, Dr. Diana Atwine the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary appealed to health workers outside the government system through Uganda Medical Association-UMA to come in and volunteer pending government recruitment.