COVID-19  Uganda Project #48556

COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund

by Global Emergency Care
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COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
Elizabeth- Emergency Care Practitioner
Elizabeth- Emergency Care Practitioner

Delivering Emergency Care services by committed Emergency Care Professionals remains a priority for all health workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. At Global Emergency Care, Elizabeth an ECP is one such hero. At the peak of the pandemic and even when their was high risk of contracting COVID-19, Elizabeth did not ever think about abandoning her call to serve and save lives, especially the most disadvantaged people. Recalling the stigma, she and her family endured that time, Elizabeth notes that “This was the saddest moment of my career, my closest friends were scared of me being a frontliner.”  Despite the sad experience the challenge provided her with an opportunity as an ECP to showcase her high-level skills and training, while being recognized by Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for excellence. she has since taken on extra responsibility in orienting the hospital staff at Accident and Emergency Department about the proper use of PPE, hand hygiene, triaging COVID-19 patients, preparedness and Response to such pandemics

In her words " The beauty of being in the emergency department is the feeling you get when you save a life " and that is what keeps her strong and passionate about Emergency Care.

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Dr. Kenneth Daniel Bagonza – Emergency Medicine Physician

In a country of 42 million people, there are currently only seven emergency medicine (EM) physicians. Dr. Bagonza - one of the seven - works as a lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and by proxy at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. Dr. Bagonza, who, as part of the masters in Emergency Medicine pioneer class, was among those retained by the university to provide clinical care in the hospital while training the next generation of emergency care professionals. 

“Our biggest challenge is the lack of understanding of what emergency care is and what is required for whatever kind of emergency,” he notes. With over 3,250 Ugandans dead - including doctors - resulting from Covid-19 complications, there is a sudden urgency to increase the number of emergency care specialists in Uganda. It was clear that most specialties are not available 24 hours, yet emergencies happen at any time. “The unpredictability of emergencies requires that there must be someone with the right skills and numbers to attend to those emergences ably,” Dr. Bagonza says. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, trained emergency care providers were among the frontline teams dealing with life-threatening issues, bridging the gap between those who required acute care and the handover to the general ward. “The ones who had the best chance of survival are the ones who were provided with that opportunity to be kept alive… Some ailments are so acute that if you don’t catch them in time, then you deny these people a chance to life.” he says.

Dr. Bagonza desires to see that emergency medical care is available at all hospitals with a system that can pick the most vulnerable from their homes to the hospital emergency rooms while promptly providing pre-hospital service. “Ours is a very short interaction but potentially life-saving. And when you make these small but critical changes, they contribute to significant improvement…that is satisfying,”

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John-Bosco Kamugisa
John-Bosco Kamugisa

John Bosco Kamugisha is the Programme Coordinator for Global Emergency Care (GEC) in Uganda. Currently, GEC collaborates with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in south-western Uganda to train Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) in Uganda. His role involves coordinating trainers and all the activities for the training program as well as providing curriculum oversight for the course. 

JB, as colleagues popularly know him, was first introduced to emergency care when he met the president of GEC back in 2006 - 2007 while working at Nyakibale Hospital in Rukungiru district. “At that time, there was no emergency care in the hospital. It is so unfortunate that people would die because there was no one to offer the specialized care needed for emergencies,” he recollects. 

The fruit of the ECP’s JB has trained over the years was highlighted at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. Especially in the Masaka region, a hotspot in Uganda. Some ECPs were deployed as frontline workers at the Uganda-Tanzania border to man the Covid-19 testing center, while others were deployed at the Covid-19 unit in Masaka Hospital. “Covid-19 was pretty engaging for us. With the skills acquired in emergency care, I remember working on a family that included a mother, father, and child who had contracted Covid-19. We provided the best kind of care they needed. All the affected members survived, and they are alive, happy, and living productive lives,” JB says.

Looking into the future, JB is very hopeful. He says, “We have seen considerable progress from where we started to where we are now. We want to scale up our training to support everyone involved in emergency care.”

GEC has made significant strides since 2017, starting with diplomas to now having EM accredited at higher levels of training. This is a significant achievement in providing lifesaving care for vulnerable communities in Uganda, but a lot more work still needs to be done.

 

 

 

 

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Glorious, ECP
Glorious, ECP

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed enormous health disparities around the world, and Uganda is no exception. With reduced testing, it is difficult to predict the trajectory of COVID-19 in Uganda, as well as the pandemic’s long-term effects on the economy and health system.

Especially as the world works to emerge from the pandemic, we at Global Emergency Care are beyond grateful for your support. With limited funding opportunities from Grantmakers as they reduced their budgets during 2020, support from donors like you enabled GEC-trained Emergency Care Practitioners to lead the efforts to treat the first infected patients in the Covid-19 treatment unit established at Masaka Hospital. Multiple Emergency Care Physicians (ECPs) were sent to the Tanzania border crossing to scan incoming travelers for Covid-19.

Our partner hospitals have predicted that the PPE supplies for our ECPs working on the front lines of the pandemic response will last through April. As the vaccination rate slowly increases and current COVID levels remain manageable, we are working to maintain accessible emergency care and transition management of the ECP training and education fully to our local partners. Your support will make this possible.

Like many of our ECPs, Kansiime Glorious has taken on extra responsibility in orienting the hospital staff about the proper use of PPE, hand hygiene, and triaging COVID-19 patients. In her words, “The country’s economy has suffered as many businesses, schools, and others that involve gatherings are still under lockdown.”

Overall, GEC has been challenged by the pandemic, but the challenge has provided an opportunity for our ECPs to showcase their high-level skills and training, while being recognized by the Uganda Ministry of Health for excellence. I think it can be best summed up by one of our ECPs - Alfunsi Birungi - who explains his experience as an ECP. “The beauty of being in the emergency department is the feeling you get when you save a life. The little one who is brought in with hypoglycemia will shortly smile at you when it has been corrected. The mother will be smiling, and tears will be dry. Most interesting is when you help someone breathe.”

ECPs donning PPE
ECPs donning PPE
ECPs performing COVID-19 sample collection
ECPs performing COVID-19 sample collection
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Elizabeth Natukunda
Elizabeth Natukunda

In this time of uncertainty, there's a fundamental truth that gives us hope - that together we can do extraordinary things. I am very grateful for your continued support of Global Emergency Care. As one of our most valued partners, I am writing you today with this request for your help. 

2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for all of us. The COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent quarantine of communities both in the U.S. and Uganda have caused many challenges that have harmed GEC’s bottom line. Grant funders have retracted and there are fewer opportunities. Donors have tightened their belts and donations have drastically reduced.

To combat these challenges and build resilience for 2021, we are:

  1. Hosting our Annual Year End Fundraiser virtually from Dec 1-31, 2020
  2. Our goal for all of December is to raise $40,000 - enough to save 350 children's lives
  3. Your contribution will provide masks, PPE, and supplies for our ECPs working on the front lines of the pandemic response in Uganda; train additional front line emergency health workers; and save children's lives

Now, more than ever, your support of Global Emergency Care is critical. Our Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) are some of the only specialist emergency care providers in Uganda and are the most equipped to deal with the COVID-19 crisis there. They are on the front lines of this pandemic as it spreads across Uganda.

ECP Deus donning PPE
ECP Deus donning PPE
COVID-19 Treatment Team at Masaka Hospital
COVID-19 Treatment Team at Masaka Hospital
ECPs - Glorious & Deus
ECPs - Glorious & Deus
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Organization Information

Global Emergency Care

Location: Oak Park, IL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @globalemergcare
Project Leader:
Tom Neill
Oak Park, IL United States
$520 raised of $10,000 goal
 
2 donations
$9,480 to go
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