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COVID SURGE HITS UGANDA—CRISIS EMERGING

Updated: Jun 28

A summary of the covid-19 situation here:

Dr. Kazoora Wilson, Medical Officer, Masaka RRH—

“For the past one month we've had an unusual rise in Covid-19 cases from the previous plateau of cases (we had days with no actual reported cases of COVID-19 in spite of testing).

An unusual surge in cases started about late April to the current date. Apparently as we speak, we are recording a very high number of cases in spite of a low testing capacity coupled with a long turnaround time for the tests (48-96 hours) as the few testing facilities are overwhelmed by the many samples.


With the current surge in the numbers hitting a record, more than 1000 cases testing positive, the number of people getting severe COVID-19 requiring HDU and ICU care have been greatly increasing overwhelming our national ICU capacity (both government owned and privately owned). Last Thursday 10th June at 5am we lost our hospital accountant, who got ill with COVID-19 a week earlier and worsened 2 days prior to his death; but we made calls all around the country and couldn't secure a free ICU space for him, whether government or private, so we lost him as he was saturating at 58% at 25l/min of oxygen!!

The situation is getting worse every day in that, the ICU costs in the private sector are very expensive, costing minimally 5million UGX per day which is not affordable for more than 95% of the population.

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In the hospital where I work, Masaka Regional Referral Hospital which is the mid South West of Uganda serving over nine surrounding districts, the suspected cases are so many, with a number of them requiring oxygen therapy which luckily enough we have at the moment in plenty but some even requiring ICU care. Unfortunately the hospital here has no ICU and these have to be referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital which at the moment is full to capacity; therefore leaving the cases in the High dependency unit (HDU) here which has a capacity of two patients and others left to figure out private care or keep on oxygen therapy as we watch and wait. This is very sad!! We mainly carry out an immediate rapid test (which is less sensitive) for any suspected cases, admit them to the general wards as they wait for the final PCR result which takes about 72-96hours and this has precipitated further spread on the wards since these suspects are not isolated from the rest of the patients on the main wards. In turn they are isolated after having a positive PCR test (3-4 days after). This is alarming!


Plans are ongoing to close off some OPD clinics to cut down on the transmission of COVID-19 since these clinics attract large numbers of patients who can not be social distanced while waiting to see a clinician.

We are currently under a partial lockdown but things are quickly getting out of hand.


With this surge in new cases, the cost of pharmaceutical products used in the care and management of COVID-19 is on the rise hence affecting the poor and underprivileged parts of the population and their ability to afford home based care...Dr. Kazoora Wilson

Medical Officer, Masaka RRH


Pray for our Ugandan brothers and sisters in crisis who urgently need our support! You will have opportunities to donate and help care for our hurting family through global mission opportunities through Words of Hope Africa.“


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