Dr Paska Apiyo disclosed with the spike in new cases, the unit is being operated by only eight personnel; 4 nurses, a medical doctor and a physician including two cleaners saying work volume has over stretched them.
Staff shortage has overstretched care delivery at the Coronavirus
Disease (COVID-19) Treatment Unit in Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
During the first lockdown to contain the virus, up to 38 staff
drawn from the different department were trained by the Ministry of Health
backed by the World Health Organization – WHO, but they were redeployed after
the cases receded.
Dr Paska Apiyo disclosed with the spike in new cases, the unit is
being operated by only eight personnel; 4 nurses, a medical doctor and a
physician including two cleaners saying work volume has overstretched them.
Dr Apiyo explained that the team is supposed to work in shifts or
rotational bases but they forced now to stay more than five hours in the wards,
a risky and unhealthy method of work at the facility following the prevailing
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The District Taskforce Chairperson, Stephen Odong Latek says that
with the numerous referrals from neighbouring districts the treatment centres
requires urgent reinforcement to enhance the quality and consistency of care
delivery. The Districts include Omoro, Nwoya, Amuru, Gulu, Pader, Lamwo, Kitgum
Latek said they have resolved to write to all respective district
Task Force chairpersons in the eight Districts of Acholi to contribute two
health staff; a nurse and a doctor who should be deployed to strengthen the
However, Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo, the Amuru District Health
Officer observed that understaffing in the health sector is a nationwide
problem. He said Amuru is equally affected by staff shortage but fully aware of
the extent to which the CTU is struggling with manpower.
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Susan Akany, the Omoro Resident District Commissioner says several confirmed
COVID-19 cases from her area have been referred for further treatment at Gulu
Regional Referral Hospital.
James Nabinson Kidega, the Resident District Commissioner of Lamwo observes
that his counterpart Latek should seek further guidance from the Ministry of
Health from where instructions should be issued for easy implementation.