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Fuel Shortage Threatens Operations of Masaka Hospital Taskforce on COVID-19

Masaka Hospital Superintendent Dr Nathan Onyaki who also coordinates the task force in the nine districts of greater Masaka says that logistical challenges are threatening their operations. He explains that the task force, which is directly charged with coordinating the activates of lower surveillance teams at the districts has run out of fuel, after emptying their reserve in the last two weeks.
A health Worker performing COVID-19 tests on a suspect in a testing point put at Masaka Hospital Main entry point.

Audio 2

Masaka Regional Referral Hospital COVID-19 Response Task-force has run out of fuel to sustain its surveillance operations.   

Masaka Hospital Superintendent Dr Nathan Onyaki who also coordinates the task force in the nine districts of greater Masaka says that logistical challenges are threatening their operations. He explains that the task force, which is directly charged with coordinating the activates of lower surveillance teams at the districts has run out of fuel, after emptying their reserve in the last two weeks.

He says, the hospital has also exhausted its quarterly fuel budget for Emergency Health Care Services which is facilitated through a partnership with Korea Foundation for International Healthcare-KOFIH.   

The task force, according to Dr Onyaki is in need of at least 200 litres of fuel per day to sustain their operations, which include tracing of suspects who had contact with positive cases, making referrals, transportation of logistics and medical staff among others. 

//Cue in; “we are running out….  

Cue out…. amount of fuel.”//   

Doctor Onyaki adds that following the total ban on both private and public transport means by President Museveni, the hospital is also overwhelmed by calls from people seeking for the emergency services which their Ambulance Services team can however not respond to at the moment over fuel.  

He indicates that as they wait on the government to respond to their inquisitions, the hospital administration is now contemplating making public appeals for well-wishers and other corporate bodies to make any contributions. 

//Cue in; “the challenges now… 

Cue out…. the private vehicles.”//

Peter Ayot, the Masaka district Health Educator has also indicated that even their appeals to the local private health services providers for vehicles to support the task force is also yet to yield the preferred results, something is equally hindering their efforts.   

He says apparently, his office has only managed to secure one mobile health promotion van from the local Marie Stopes clinic which they are using to pass out public sensitization messages on prevention of coronavirus.  

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance presented before Parliament a supplementary budget request for Shillings 304 billion to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Meanwhile, the request was sent to the parliamentary budget committee for scrutiny.