Jinja Regional Referral hospital has run out of surgical and examination gloves just moments after the health Ministry bought a brand new fleet of vehicles.

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Speaking after receiving a donation of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from the Uganda North American association (UNAA) on Friday, the hospital’s deputy director, Angella Namala said that, since gloves are essential for all health workers, their absence affects the proper management of patients and morale of doctors.

The PPEs donated by UNAA worth Shs 144 million comprise 2,880 N95 masks, 50 coveralls and 400 face shields. The hospital’s Covid-19 treatment unit has so far managed 650 patients in the second wave and registering 100 deaths so far, however, they still lie low on supply of PPEs, which frustrates the management of critical cases.

Records at the treatment unit indicate that health workers in the major four Covid-19 treatment units require an estimate of 80 N95 masks and gloves daily, to ensure their safety while handling patients, however, frequent shortages demoralize them from effectively executing their duties.

Namala argues that, much as the National Medical Stores (NMS) endeavours to routinely supply other PPEs like face masks, the gloves are frequently out of stock.

She also says that they have spent close to a month without receiving any JIK supplies yet, it is paramount in the disinfection of surfaces after managing patients within the different treatment units.

“Truthfully, the government tries, it really supplies but the demand is high. Maybe we have not given proper statistics or we have not prepared quite well or we didn’t anticipate what we’re seeing because as we speak, we don’t have gloves which is very key. No one can manage a patient without any gloves. We have no JIK and we use it as a disinfecting agent for most of our work. If you’re infected it protects me, you do not infect me but you also do not infect the next person who comes after you,” said Namala.

UNAA president Emirieta Nairuba has tasked members of the general public to supplement government supplies, by donating PPEs to the health facilities within their localities, which she says will protect health workers from contracting Covid-19 and other infections in the course of their duty.

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