Treatment Unit-CTU at Lira Regional Referral Hospital has run out of the N95
mask, which is part of the essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in
the fight against coronavirus disease.
The facility is relying on donations from nearby hospitals. Early this week,
the center received 90 pieces of N95 (the blue one) from Apac General Hospital.
The absence of N95 masks has triggered fear among front line health workers at
This comes at a time the district is battling a surge in COVID-19
cases amidst space challenges. Judith Namirimu Polah Nanyonjo, a Senior
Principal Nursing Officer (SPNO) at Lira Regional Referral Hospital explained
that the lack of PPEs is a major challenge.
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She says due to the absence of the N95 masks, they are
improvising, which isn’t very helpful. “When it comes to changing oxygen for
those in the critical zone, the person has to don more than four times. Even
when giving treatment people have to don, any slight change in the condition
people have to don to enter so we need the supply of N95, the original (the
green one) if we can have like 100 or 200 pieces it will serve the purpose.”
box containing 20 pieces of N95 costs Shillings 150,000/= at Felister pharmacy
in Lira City. Namirimu also cited inadequate funding and lack of fuel for
vehicles used in the evacuation of patients as hindrances to their work.
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Lawrence Egole, the head of the COVID- 19 Task-force in Lira City called for
urgent intervention, saying health workers at risk of infection cannot save
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Meanwhile, the Task Force has resolved to conduct door to door testing of the
people in and around Lira City. The resolution followed the realization that
having a central testing point at the district health department was not only
exposing staff to the virus but also a source of infection among those showing
up for testing.
Bernard Otucu, the Lira City Principal Health Officer, says that taking samples
from the District Health offices exposes the staff to infection and interrupt
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A total of 853 people have been admitted at the treatment center, 26 have since
passed on while 711 were discharged. As of 29th June 2021, there were 17
patients in the ward. 8 males and 7 females. 7 people are critically ill on
oxygen whereas there are 77 active patients on home-based care.