COVID 19 training held at China-Uganda Friendship Hospital on the 5th and 6th of March 2020

Over 80 countries have been affected by the Corona Virus across the globe and the case fatality is currently at 3.4%. Many myths and assumptions about the virus have circulated in public, which has caused panic. In case of an outbreak, are we ready to respond?

This is the question Dr Bodo Bongomin, the Clinical Head of Paediatrics, Gulu Regional Referral and Teaching Hospital paused to health workers at the two-day COVID 19 training held at China-Uganda Friendship Hospital on the 5th and 6th of March 2020.

This training was organized by Infectious Diseases Institute, World Health Organization and Ministry of Health to build capacity of frontline health workers in the care of patients with Corona Virus 2019 disease.

Over 93,000 cases have been reported globally with some confirmed in African countries. The Corona Virus has a very short incubation period (5.2 days) and it spreads at a very high rate compared to previous related outbreaks such as SARS and MERs-CoV.

“Medical personnel in the different health care centers need to be trained in preparation for any cases or outbreak within the country.

Health workers need the knowledge and right attitude to respond to the Corona Virus cases (whether suspected or infected patients). They also need to appreciate the causes, spread and how to prevent themselves from being infected,” Dr Emmanuel Batiibwe, Hospital Director.

Health workers from Naguru Referral hospital and Rapid response teams participated in the training. More trainings will be handled in other regional referral hospitals across the country. The focus areas for this training include understanding practice to prevent the spread, lab specimen collection, clinical management of patients, and many more.

Apart from health workers, the Ministry of Health intends to involve other groups in the training scheme for example police and UPDF. This is a strategy to ensure rapid response in case of an outbreak.