ARUA. The COVID-19 treatment center at Arua regional Referral hospital (ARRH) has run out of space following the countrywide spike in infections.
The hospital has a bed capacity to treat 40 COVID-19 patients at a time which capacity has been filled up according to authorities.
While speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Arua hospital director, Dr Filbert Nyeko said there is no alternative space at the hospital for COVID-19 patients other than resorting to referrals to other health facilities within the West Nile region and Namboole in Kampala.
He said some of the patients who have spaces at their homes can be managed at home but was quick to point that such a move will be faced with challenges of inadequate manpower and risks of exposure in the community.
“As I speak now, there are 35 people in Arua district waiting to be admitted to our treatment unit and yet we don’t have space because we only have 40 beds. Therefore, our first management line is to implore people not to get the disease and if they get it, we have options of treating them at their homes in case there is space and those without space at home will be referred to other treatment centers in Koboko, Moyo or Namboole in Kampala” Dr Nyeko said.
He called upon the community to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as the best practice to prevent the disease so that health workers are also protected from the infection.
He said many health workers across the west Nile region had been infected by the disease without any specific numbers.
Arua hospital board chairman, Dr Sam Okuonzi disclosed that management of the hospital is engaging the ministry of health to have alternative shelters like tents in the COVID-19 treatment center as the number of infections continue to rise.
“We are one of the regional hospitals that has admitted so many cases of COVID-19, but we are still highly constrained with resources. We have now run out of space. We have approached the ministry to provide a temporary tent-based space to cater for the extra patients.” Dr Okuonzi noted.
He commended the staff at the treatment center for a job well done so far despite the high strain on resources.
Arua referral hospital has so far registered one Coronavirus death of a 50-year-old man from Arua district who died on the 26th of September before results of his samples were confirmed.