LIST: Midwives, nurses succumb to Coronavirus

Health workers at Mulago Specialised National Hospital undergo disinfection upon leaving the COVID-19 isolation and treatment unit (PHOTO/File)

At least 15 midwives and nurses have so far succumbed to COVID-19, one of their union leaders has revealed.

Isaac Okello Wonyima, a nursing officer who is now the Nwoya district assistant health officer in charge of Maternal Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) as well as national chairperson of MCHN, compiled the list.

“Dear colleagues, it is time we take record of our departed colleagues due to COVID-19. This is the only best way we can account for our very own,” said Wonyima, before he shared the list on social media and urged his colleagues to add anyone whom he may have missed.

According to the list compiled by Wonyima, twelve of the departed are midwives, while three are nurses.

Among the deceased are; Deborah Njuba, who was a senior nursing officer at Lwengo health centre IV, and midwife Edna Acayo, who was the national mentor on the Elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis programme.

Deceased nurses and midwives

Sr Florence Acheng (nurse)
Jenesther Auma (midwife)
SrFlorence Waiswa (nurse)
Deborah Njuba (nurse)
Edna Acayo (midwife)
Joel Siwa (midwife)
Isaac Chemwajar (midwife)
Joyce Orik (midwife)
Robinah Matovu (midwife)
Prossy Mumbejja Zalwango (midwife)
Valerie Gava (midwife)
Cattie Nyanzi (midwife)
Jane Rose Walekwa (midwife)
Louise Kakai (midwife)
Victoria Bukenya (midwife)
Medical association calls for reserving beds

On June 16, the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) called on those in charge of health units and referral hospitals to reserve beds in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs) for health workers.

According to measures suggested by the UMA leadership signed by the association chairperson, Dr Richard Idro, there is a need to reserve a bed in each health facility and referral hospital within the ICU and HDU for health workers.

This follows the rise in the number of medics who have died of COVID-19 of late when ICUs and HDUs in their respective health facilities are filled up.

Idro also urged medics with comorbidities (underlying illnesses like diabetes and hypertension) to stay at home.

“Reduce the number of health workers coming to the hospital daily and in the wards. This will reduce exposure but also spare the uninfected health workers,” he noted.

With up to 20% positivity rates, Idro observed that one in every five people is likely to be infected with the COVID-19 virus, adding that “we need to improve our protection more than ever.”

He said the basic measures against fighting COVID-19 like hand washing, wearing a mask, observing social distance, and sanitising, have not changed and should be adhered to. He urged medics and members of the public to get vaccinated, which is a long-term solution to fighting the pandemic.

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, reports indicate that over 60 health workers (doctors and nurses) have died, most of them succumbing to the virus. In the past three weeks, at least 10 doctors have died of the virus.

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