Kisiizi is in the south-west of Uganda (yellow dot).The green circle is the area affected by the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It had almost died out but then another case was identified at Beni. The blue circles are Covid-19 cases as at 24 April 2020, with the red areas showing the affected districts. There have been 75 confirmed cases including lorry drivers from Kenya and Tanzania. Kisiizi is quite close to the border with Rwanda who have reported increasing cases, as have Kenya and Tanzania.
The warehouse at Joint Medical Stores Mbarara branch has quite a lot of empty shelves as supply lines have been affected by the international shutdown. Kisiizi has run out of some key items such as medication for some patients with mental illness but have managed to obtain some from other sources. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is short worldwide and Kisiizi are trying to have a rational approach that protects its staff but doesn’t use up the limited resources.
The hospital has implemented first triage at the gate to check the temperature of all arrivals and some screening questions. Those screened positive are given a mask to wear and move to a more detailed secondary triage pointion, which is a cordoned off area of the Rehabilitation Unit dormitory building.
If they fulfil the WHO Case Definition for Covid-19, they will go down to Kisiizi's Isolation Unit. This is the old Ahumuza ward that was emptied in 2017 when the new Ahumuza centre opened. It had been used for storage so has needed clearing and renovation and other work to ready it for the new role. This work has commenced so the hospital can take patients, but it is still working on some aspects including the provision for if it should receive any mothers who are showing symptoms, so cannot go to Maternity ward to deliver. World Health Organisation representatives have approved the hospital's plans and delivered some training sessions.
The hospital has an empty car park and the roads aren’t being used through Kisiizi as all transport, except emergency vehicles and essential cargo, has been stopped. This means many patients are unable to reach the hospital and a surge is anticipated once the restrictions are eased, but unfortunately it is likely that quite a few patients will have deteriorated due to the delay. Moses, the hospital's administrator, had to send a hospital ambulance out to collect a mother who had been reported to be in labour at the side of the road a few kilometres away but could not get transport to reach a clinic or hospital. Thankfully she and baby did well.
Please pray for the ongoing work at Kisiizi, especially now they face the additional challenges brought with the Coronavirus.