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CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC

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Social distancing in the Children ward.

KIDA ON CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC

Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). While addressing the nation 18th March 2020 president of the republic of Uganda decreed that all schools, colleges and Universities, be closed, a ban was decreed on all public gatherings including religious gatherings, closure of markets, shops, bars etc. Since then the country has registered 30 positive. The cases have been increasing in number and now Uganda stands at 44. Among more decrees was lockdown on public transport and later ban on private transport done in the president’s most recent National address on the 30th.March.2020 regarding the pandemic.

As KIDA organization, we have been proactive in following the Ministry of Health Guidelines and Protocols to avoid the Corona Virus spread. During one of the management meetings it was agreed that a CME/lesson (Continued Medical Education) be arranged as soon as possible to sensitize the staff, the vocational students, the drama group and the entire KIDA community about COVID-19. This was arranged by the COVID 19 task force that was elected by the management. Led by the Medical Superintendent Dr. Brian Kiiza, the CME was very educative and very catchy that left every one very attentive and prepared.

How has the Organization been affected?

The organization’s programs have been affected by the Pandemic because the OVCs being supported were also sent back home as all schools were asked to close. The vocation program was also put on halt and this has affected the programming as far as the Vocation is concerned.

Group meetings are not an option in the operations of KIDA Community Health Insurance Plan (KCHIP) locally known as Bataka Twejanjabe. These have temporarily ceased because many people gather and it is against the rules set by the President apparently. Many programs as far as KCHIP is concerned are likely to lag behind and in the long run the strategic objective embedded in the strategic plan concerning the Insurance may not be achieved as planned.
Morning devotions that brought all staff together for prayer before everyone goes to their office are no more due to the directive on social distancing. The same time has also always been used to pass announcements and any other communication of importance.
The daily Sacco operations such as savings and withdraws, loan payments have also been highly disrupted due to restricted movements. Some of the Sacco clients earn their daily income on daily basis, like through Retail shop sales, riding Boda Boda, cereal sales and also sell of agricultural produce in markets. All these activities have been banned. This will likely cause irregularities in the loans payments. Because of the restricted movement, members can hardly withdraw their money, they can however save using the Modern Sacco Mobile banking system that still lacks provision for clients to withdraw.

Also the SACCO Annual general meeting that had be scheduled for 24th March 2020 could not be held due to the ban on all public gatherings and this particular meeting brings together over 1000 people. Announcements were already running for a whole week, some items to facilitate the meeting were already bought and service providers booked therefore the SACCO has incurred losses already.

There were other scheduled meetings such as the Hospital staff meeting which sits monthly the one for March was set to take place on 30th March 2020, it could no longer be held. The weekly senior management meetings cannot take place because much as it’s a smaller number of 11 members, the Director’s office where the meeting is always held is too small for the 1m apart social distancing as recommended by the Ministry of health. The Hospital Board meeting that sits quarterly had already set a tentative date as 17th April 2020 but the 32 day lockdown on gatherings will not have ended yet. All this is likely to deter the progress of some projects and the day today running of the organization.
Health education talks are now given on individual basis which limits on experience sharing as well as peer support. Health education is one of the preventive services offered at the Hospital most importantly for people Living with HIV/AIDs, TB clients, expectant mothers and those that have already delivered, adolescents and even all patients in general at outpatient and in patient departments. This too has been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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Social distancing on the outpatient department
Only 17 staff out of the 70 staff members reside at the staff residence which is a walkable distance from the organization. The lockdown on public and private transport left about 79% of the staff stranded on how to get to office/work. Others from nearby are trying to walk all the way from their places of residence while others who have been commuting from Fort portal using their own private means now cannot due to the ban. Apparently the Organization has to incur fuel expenses to drive and pick staff members from their residences. It should be noted that some of the staff leaving distant places are so vital and the facility can’t do without their services for example, the anesthetist, Accountant, Sacco manager and many others. Earlier on before the ban on public transport, one staff Olive Bonabana was stuck at the stage for one and a half hours waiting for a bodaboda (transport by motorcycle) and when she got one, the operator charged her double the usual price because he felt he was risking his motorcycle to be impounded by police. One of the nurses who was in town by the time of the presidents’ directive, had to switch duty because she had no means to come to the organization.
The Hospitals inpatient and outpatient department has also been affected. Because of the social distancing directive from the ministry of health that require a person to be a minimum of a meter from the other, has paused a big challenge in the inpatient department where beds had to be carried out of the ward to create the required distance. This has reduced our normal in patient accommodation capacity in all wards including the children’s’ ward. The waiting area for the outpatient department has also reduced due to the social distancing directive. Some patients have to stretch beyond the available waiting shade because of the need to keep distance that is a major remedy to the spread of Corona virus.

How prepared is KIDA hospital?

Due to the Outbreak of the pandemic, KIDA hospital has put out the following safety measures as listed below.

1. Availed hand wash facility with treated water outside the KIDA Gate where the security personnel helps to make sure that no body enters the facility without washing his or her hands. Hand washing facility is also availed at other points like the Sacco, wards and at wash rooms.
2. Set a special task force headed by Dr. Brian Kiiza to implement the different policies rolled out in the fight of the Corvid-19 disease.
3. Conduct regular Briefings about the developments in the fight of the virus.
4. Ensure social distancing of the patients both at the outpatient and inpatient departments, at the Sacco etc.
5. Provided protective gear to the staff like gam boots, face masks, etc.
6. Successfully sought licensing of the Van and one motorcycle of the Health insurance scheme to help attend to any emergences.( Despite the ban on private and public transport, the KIDA mini-bus and one of motorcycle is allowed to move).
7. Adopted use of infra-red thermometers
8. Restricted visits to the ward.
9. Accept either one or no patient attendant depending on the need.

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Social distancing in the Children ward.