The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Global Health (CGH) deployed a team to Mbarara, Uganda in collaboration with Build Health International ,to support efforts to treat patients with COVID-19 infections.
The Government of Uganda through the Global Health Collaborative have given support to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. These have constricted a COVID Centre with the aim of decongesting the current Centre.
A team of six was deployed to Uganda, this included: five nurses and one physician with specialization in COVID-19 care and is led by Lindsey Martin, NP, Director of Global Disaster Response and Humanitarian Action at CGH. The team offered colleagues at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) clinical support and will assist in making the newly constructed COVID-19 Treatment Center facility operational.
The centre was given 40 ICU beds making a total of 100 ICU beds at MRRH. In addition, they donated a ten-bed capacity tent were patients from ICU would be monitored. they also donated equipment and supplies to kick start the opening of the facility worth ($1000), mattresses, monitoring machines and PPE.
The Hospital Director, Dr. Barigye Celestine said he was speechless about the donation. He said this was so timely to support the hospital infrastructure and the staff. On a sad note, Barigye said the pandemic had claimed , 114 lives in the area. Currently, the statistics stand at 37 admissions, and of these, 24 are in critical condition. this adds up to a total of 1050 patients that have tested positive since the pandemic started, 441 admissions and 276 discharges.
Officiating at the event, Lt. Col. James Mwesigye the Mbarara Resident City Commissioner (RCC), was grateful to the GHC donors he thanked the GOU for supporting Mbarara district to curb the pandemic. He added that expanding the hospital capacity gives hope to many, he pointed out a situation when patients could not be admitted given the increasing numbers patients. “It was so heart breaking, seeing patients going away without help”. Thus his excitement for the donation.
The RCC also thanked the Mbarara COVID-19 task force for their selflessness service and the zeal to work under all odd conditions.
Dr. Asiimwe Stephen the director of GHC-MGH said the fight of the pandemic has not ended. He added that GHC will do all it takes to see the pandemic down to zero. Stephen mentioned that they were engaging other donors to set up an oxygen plant at the new Centre, and that they still needed funds to fully equip and modernize the centre.
Still in line with fighting the pandemic, the Director Epi-Centre Uganda Dr. Juliet Mwanga (MUST alumnus pioneer class) donated 10 ICU beds to the hospital management supplemented with 5 oxygen cylinders and 2 oxygen regulators.
We are so indebted to our partners in development, especially in this trying time. Borrowing the words of Maya Angelou, we say, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Many thanks to you all.