Kampala: The deadly Ebola outbreak in Western takes new shape as nationwide fifteen health workers have tested positive, leaving six of them dead so far.
The outbreak showcased its first case in Mubende District, Uganda in September this year, whereby ten (10) Doctors immediately stepped forward to work in an isolation unit at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.
The Sudan-type virus is at a high rate circulating in Uganda, for which there is no proven vaccine. The total recorded cases have clinched to at least one hundred forty-one (141), with 55 dead.
Further, Health workers are reluctant to work in the health units for fear of contracting the deadly haemorrhagic fever, said one of the trio, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorized to talk to the press.
“At the start point, the number of Health Workers willing to work in the units was promising but now we have low coverage. If we get five cases, the work we carry out is overwhelming,” the doctor said in a statement.
The Ministry of Health incident commander, Henry Kyobe Bosa, denied that there are staff or resource shortages. Intensive care staff works a maximum of eight-hour (8hrs) shifts and Personnel from Ebola-free areas are rotated in, he made a statement.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization-WHO and Aid Groups are jointly providing Uganda with assistance to curb the spread of Ebola, the United States significantly channelled $22m through local partners for the advance.
According to Dr. Alone Nahabwe, the Uganda Medical Association’s-UMAs head of worker welfare said that Staff coverage was 40% before the outbreak, hence Ebola is crippling the system indirectly.
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“Notably, there are facilities where Doctors and Health Workers are still touching patients without gloves because protecting tools like gloves are not there,” Said Nahabwe.
The Ugandan government officials say that after a chaotic beginning; the situation is improving. Case numbers remain low compared with a 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed at least 11,300 people.
Full image, at the Isolation Unit in Mubende District, the outbreak’s Epicentre, one Doctor said that the PPE and Staffing Crunches had eased as case numbers fell: in his unit, twelve (12) out of sixty (60) beds were occupied last week, down from a peak of forty-eight (48).