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COVID-19: UNFPA Supplies Personal Protective Equipment to 3,000 Frontline Health Workers in Northern and West Nile Regions of Uganda

Amidst rising cases of COVID-19 with infections spreading among health workers, Uganda is grappling with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals and health facilities. UNFPA is supporting the Government of Uganda to address the shortage. With funding from the Government of Denmark, UNFPA supplied additional PPEs worth UGX 807 million to protect over 3,000 frontline health workers in 10 districts of Northern Uganda and West Nile.

 

The personal protective equipment included 51,120 surgical masks, 5,700 respirators, 7,842 pieces of hand sanitizers and 520,800 pairs gloves. Also supplied were 828 protective goggles and heavy duty aprons, 4,530 liters of liquid soap which were delivered to the task forces in the districts of Amuru, Adjumani, Agago, Arua, Kitgum, Lamwo Madi-Okolo, Moyo,  Obongi and Yumbe.

 

The Local Council (LC) V Chairperson of Amuru District, Mr. Michael Lakony remarked that the delivery of PPEs will significantly build the confidence of frontline health workers and reduce their feeling of vulnerability to COVID-19 so to continue proving lifesaving SRHR, GBV response and other health care services.

Amuru is currently the epicenter of the pandemic, and according to Mr. Lakony the availability of the PPE will raise the confidence of communities who had shied away from seeking services as evidenced by the drastic decline in mothers delivering in health facilities.

 

“Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others but shortages are leaving doctors, midwives, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients,” said Mr. Lakony.

 

“Besides, delivery of other critical health services including those for pregnant women who need emergency obstetric and neonatal care were compromised due to limited access to PPEs,” added.

 

The LC V Chairperson of Lamwo District, Mr. Ogwok John Komakech thanked UNFPA and applauded the generosity of the people of Denmark for the continued support over the years towards improving the reproductive health and GBV outcomes of both the refugees and host communities in times of crises including the COVID-19 pandemic. Lamwo is a border district hosting over 50,000 refugees from South Sudan.

 

Compiled by Simon Ichumar –UNFPA Uganda