By Spy Uganda
The Parliament COVID-19 taskforce has commended St. Kizito Matany Hospital in Napak district for the care they accord their clients despite the odds they face.
The MPs made these remarks during their field visit to districts across the Karamoja sub region to assess government’s preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic. Matany Hospital is a private not-for-profit hospital built in the early 70’s by the Comboni Missionary Sisters with a bed capacity of 250.
It manages a catchment population of 162,000 people and offers vaccination, testing and treatment of COVID-19 at Shs 50,000. The money also caters for feeding, oxygen and drugs.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr John Bosco Nsubuga, explained that the hospital has managed to keep treatment costs on the low because of donations from well-wishers.
As at 11 July, 2021, the hospital had registered 107 COVID-19 positive cases and eight succumbed – none of them a health worker.
Although the hospital does not have an Intensive Care Unit, it has a ward with 16 isolation beds with the capacity to administer oxygen.
Dr Nsubuga revealed that 2,766 patients were referred to Matany Hospital from health centres in the Karamoja sub region including Moroto Regional Referral Hospital during the period 2019-2020.
The medical superintendent said they lacked adequate Personnel Protective Equipment, strained ambulance services and were struggling with delayed allowances for the staff in the COVID‐19 treatment unit among a host of other challenges, also affecting other medical facilities across the country.
Relatedly, the MPs were stunned to learn that despite the risks associated with contracting COVID-19, most people in Abim district fear the enforcement team more than the coronavirus.
“The locals only wear face masks when they see the Police,” the Abim District Police Commander, Sydney Ayikoyo told the MPs at the district hospital.
The Abim Resident District Commissioner, Juliet Najjuma, revealed that COVID-19 testing in her district was only done at the hospital due to limited testing kits.
The Abim District Health Officer, Dr Anthony Okengo, confirmed that 36 COVID-19 positive cases were on home based care.
Dr Okengo added that in the first wave to the COVID-19, they registered 69 positive cases of which, 18 were health workers. In the second wave, they have so far tested over 8,000 people and 83 were positive, five of them being health workers.