Doctors under the Uganda Medical Association wants medical
workers to lay down their tools if they are not provided with Personal
Protective Equipment- PPE.
The doctors made the call on Tuesday at a press meeting.
According to the association, the body has recorded several cases where health
workers have not been provided with PPEs. Last week, 22 pregnant women who were
due for caesarean section were not operated because health workers lacked
masks, gloves and sanitizer.
Reports from the Soroti medical association branch shows that
interns were forced to carry out operations on mothers without masks.
In addition to this, seven health workers were infected with COVID-19 over the
Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, the general secretary UMA says that the body is prepared to
support all doctors who decide not to show up to work. He says the availability
of PPE is dependent on where you work. He says health workers in urban settings
have more PPE compared to their colleagues in rural settings.
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In the past, the government has threatened to dismiss health
workers who lay down their tools.
This time around, UMA has partnered with the Center for Health,
Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) to provide a free legal presentation for
any health worker that might need it.
Ibrahim Nsereko, the programme manager of Litigation at CEHURD
says they are ready to represent every health worker who needs representation.
“It's worrying when caretakers of the sick start falling sick
because they did not have PPE. More protection is needed for health workers.
For those who want to address their grievances in court, we are willing and
ready to give a free legal presentation to any health worker who needs
presentation. Come and tell us your problems and we shall step in,"
Nsereko also wants the seven health workers who were infected with
COVID-19 to be compensated since the government failed in its duty to protect
the health workers.
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There are global shortages in PPE stocks. According to the health ministry,
Uganda only has 10 percent of its required PPE. While the country orders for
more PPE and even start production, there have been reports that misuse of PPE
Last month, the permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine accused some health workers
of wasting PPE.
"There is a global PPE shortage but if you go to some health centres, you
will find waste. Right now we are training health workers to use the little PPE
that they have sparingly. But we have made orders to fill the gaps," Dr