Janani Opoka Luwum, the head of sample collection and a Laboratory specialist at Kitgum General Hospital notes that the facility which is the main center for covid-19 testing has run out of stock of PPE.
Lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is hampering the collection
of samples in Kitgum District for Covid-19 testing.
The revelation comes just a day after the District Covid-19 task force made
resolutions to start conducting mass and random Covid-19 testing to ascertain
the trend of the virus.
At least two people tested positive for the virus in the last week, sparking
concerns of undetected community infection in the district as the second
covid-19 wave sweeps across the country.
Janani Opoka Luwum, the head of the sample collection and a Laboratory
specialist at Kitgum General Hospital notes that the facility which is the main
centre for covid-19 testing has run out of stock of PPE.
He says that they currently don’t have essential PPE such as N95 masks, gowns,
safety goggles, face shield, and sanitizer which are key for safe swab sample
extraction for covid-19 testing.
Luwum notes that they recently borrowed 10 gowns from the neighbouring Lamwo
District health department but have since been utilized in extracting 10
samples that were taken for testing.
“The last gown we had was used on Tuesday to extract swab sample from a suspected
covid-19 patient within Kitgum Municipality, right now we have none and this
makes it hard to conduct a test for covid-19,” He said.
Despite lack of PPE, Luwum notes that the hospital still has got enough stock
of RDT and PCR testing kits for covid-19.
Innocent Rubangakene, a Laboratory scientist at the same facility notes that it
has become a struggle to acquire PPE to conduct testing. He says the situation
has left them unable to conduct tests and at some points, they only carry on
few people with symptoms.
Simon Knox Okongo, Kitgum District Surveillance Focal Point person says a
request was recently made to the National Medical Stores (NMS) for more stock
of PPE but notes that there has been a delay in supply.
He notes that despite the inadequate stock of PPE they have continued to
conduct testing by borrowing gowns from the neighbouring Lamwo District.
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech has appealed to
stakeholders in the district for an urgent supply of PPE to facilitate the safe
collection of swab samples for covid-19 testing.
//cue in: “wa nongo bene…
Cue out:…me mass testing.”//
//cue in: “some concern came…
Cue out:…and other areas.”//
A total of 2,158 swab samples have been collected from residents in Kitgum
district for covid-19 testing out of which 292 were found positive since March
2020. 163 of the positive cases were inmates from Kitgum Central Prison.
The district has also registered two covid-19 deaths since the
outbreak of the contagion last year.