The Hospital Director, Dr. Moses Muwanga, says that several people have shown up seeking to test ever since the r Health Ministry asked people who have traveled in the recent weeks to test.
The Hospital Director, Dr. Moses Muwanga says that ever since the for Health Ministry asked people who have traveled in the recent weeks to undertake tests, several have shown up.
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Referral Hospital is overwhelmed by the huge number of people seeking to test
for the coronavirus disease-COVD-19. The Hospital Director, Dr. Moses
Muwanga, says that several people have shown up seeking to test ever since the Health Ministry asked people who have traveled in the recent weeks to test.
He says on Tuesday 300 people turned up and asked
to be tested at the hospital, which has since been designated as a corona quarantine
centers. The hospital first measures body temperatures to eliminate those
with a fever. It draws samples from suspects and dispatches them to
Uganda Virus Research Institute for testing.
Muwanga says that the hospital referred most of the people to
Mulago National Referral Hospital or told them to self-quarantine at home. He
explained that this is mainly because the hospital is dealing majorly with
confirmed cases. Uganda confirmed its first case last Saturday.
A total of 14 cases have since been confirmed. Dr. Muwanga
says if other cases are at admitted, they will be compelled to close other
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Many individuals and institutions have also made distress
calls to the hospital to pick up suspects. Muwanga attributes this to the high
level of awareness among members of the general public.
However, designating the hospital as one of the main isolation
centers for corona patients has sparked fears and anxiety among some staff,
especially those who are working in other departments such as maternity,
pediatric among others.
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Muwanga says that the hospital has not received additional
funds but it got some supplies from the Health Ministry and Japanese government
to run the isolation unit. These supplies include as sanitizers, gloves and
masks among others.
The isolation unit currently has 20 trained health workers
but Muwanga says that there is need to increase the number to at least 60 so as
to manage the ever increasing number of suspects and confirmed cases. The
unit has a 26 bed capacity; however one patient with the disease may require
more space for better management.
8 of the 21 suspects in the isolation unit have so far tested
positive. When our reporter visited the isolation unit on Wednesday, relatives
of some of the suspects had gathered in the waiting area and compound. They were
however denied access to see the suspects.
One of the nurses at the unit advised the relatives to call
or send recorded video messages to the suspects or patients. Those with
foodstuffs were asked to first eat the edibles before a health worker would
deliver them to the respective suspects. Access is restricted to staff and security officers who man
the entry points. Some of the relatives also used the opportunity to test for
Some of them told Uganda Radio Network that
they are frustrated by long queues and delays in releasing the results. Most of them asked that their identities are concealed for
purposes of confidentiality. 34 –year-old Joel Mugisha, (Not real name) said that he got
tested after waiting for three hours.
He is however happy that he is negative
and will now subject himself to self-quarantine for the next 14 days. Two other siblings namely Sarah Namusisi and
Haruna Musisi (not real names) also tested negative. They were tested because they have been in close contact with
one of the 21 suspects.
The suspect, who is Namusisi’s husband, was
confined at the unit on Tuesday after he tested positive and then negative on
the same day. The hospital has thereby told his relatives to wait a little
longer for it to ascertain his condition. Namusisi says that her husband has
been sneezing and coughing for the last two weeks, something that prompted them
to visit the hospital for testing.
She says they first went to Kampala Capital City
Authority-KCCA medical Centre but were advised to test from Mulago, Naguru and Entebbe
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However the results had not yet been released by the time URN
spoke to Namusisi, who says her husband could have contracted the disease from
prolonged exposure to other suspects who may already be positive.
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The hospital Director, Dr. Muwanga says that issuing negative
result slips will give people false hope. Rather, they should self-quarantine
for 14 days to ascertain that they are safe.
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Entebbe Hospital has a capacity of 200 beds and serves a
catchment population from Wakiso, Kalangala and Buvuma districts.