By Richard Akandwanaho
Lack of a well-purposed isolation room and Intensive Care Unit at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, inadequate transport means, and inadequate funds have hindered effective response in a fight against the spread of Coronavirus in Kabale district.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus in Uganda, Kabale regional Referral Hospital has accommodated 10 Covid-19 positive cases of which only 6 are currently active.
Today, Members of Parliament on the Committee on Government Assurances led by the Nakawa division Member of parliament Micheal Kabaziguruka visited the hospital to scrutinize the assurances, promises and undertakings given by Ministers and other agents of the government to the Kabale Regional Referral Hospital in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during the meeting held at Kabale regional Referral Hospital main hall today morning, the Kabale hospital director Dr.Sophie Namasopo said that the hospital lacks a well purposed isolation room and Intensive Care Unit adding that the current ICU and isolation room at the facility are temporary and substandard which affects thorough response to COVID-19.
Dr. Namasopo further added that the hospital is faced with inadequate personal protective equipment which exposes the lives of the Health workers at the facility to the risks of acquiring Coronavirus.
She added that the hospital also has no special ambulance to transport COVID -19 related/suspected patients which is a threat in the fight against the pandemic.
She noted that the hospital currently has only one ambulance which is too old and cannot cover longer distances making response to the pandemic in longer distant areas like Kisoro and Kanungu districts a problem.
The Kabale district acting Health officer Alfred Besigensi also said that the 165 million the district received from the government as Coronavirus response fund became inadequate and could not even help match the district Coronavirus expenses for three months.
Besigensi said that the district is currently surviving on handouts from well-wishers in the district thus becoming a big hindrance in the fight against COVID 19 in the district. He also noted that the district has no other designated Quarantine center if schools could be allowed to reopen since all Coronavirus suspects in the district are Quarantined at Kabale school of Compressive nursing.
Kabale district local council five chairperson Patrick Besigye Keihwa revealed that the hospital at times finds it self referring some cases to other lower health facilities which he described as disturbing and called on the legislators to move swiftly in addressing the challenge.
The Chairman of Kabale District Task Force, also the Kabale RDC Darius Nandinda also said that inadequate funding has hindered effective deployments at the borders which could increase the free entry of foreigners in the country accelerating the spread of Coronavirus in Uganda.
The Kajara constituency Member of Parliament Micheal Timuzigu Kamugisha who was part of the Committee wondered how the government has given ambulances and protective gear like masks to other districts and forgotten districts in Kigezi region that border other high-risk countries like Rwanda and Congo.
The Kiryandongo district Woman Member of Parliament Helen Kahunda asked the government to be mindful of the lives and welfare of health workers especially those handling Coronavirus related patients through providing them motivation in form of allowances and providing them with protective gears.
Micheal Kabaziguruka promised to present the challenges to the relevant authorities and to Parliament for debate and possible solutions.
Kabale regional referral hospital receives patients from Kigezi, neibhoring Rwanda,Democratic Republic of Congo,Ntungamo and Isingiro districts .