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 performing COVID-19 sample collection