It’s close to two years since the outbreak of COVID-19, an unprecedented public health crisis which we know has impacted all regions of the world. We also know that some countries have fared much better than others. However, in Uganda there is only one doctor for every 24,000 citizens and with every wave of COVID-19 the health system is stretched to breaking point. The progress made over a decade to improve patient care is inevitably being rolled back as a result of the pandemic.
Currently there are only six qualified Emergency Physicians in Uganda, all of whom are located at two teaching hospitals. The Regional referral hospitals, which are the current COVID-19 treatment centres, have no Emergency Physicians at all.
With the country only able to vaccinate 3.2% of its eligible population against the WHO target of 40% by the end of this year, a devastating third wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations is expected very soon. That is why we’re asking for your support today.
The previous wave of COVID-19 in Uganda resulted in high rates of hospitalisation, severe shortage of oxygen availability and high mortality rates. Whilst the country has moved to increase oxygen production, the major challenge of too few and not fully trained emergency care workers remains at health facilities across the country.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is supporting a crucial emergency care virtual training programme for health workers in Uganda to be better equipped for their emergency response. The training will build the capacity of health workers to manage COVID-19 cases as well as other emergency conditions and provide sustainability beyond the pandemic. A donation of just £20 covers the cost of internet access for one trainee to participate on the course.
Please help fund this vital programme today. As a valued member of the College, we are sure you can appreciate the devastating impact the pandemic has had and is still having in Uganda right now. Please give today to change the future of Emergency Medicine in Uganda for the better.
£20 would provide full internet costs for one trainee to complete the virtual training programme which will equip them with the essential skills they need to save lives.
£50 would provide two regional hospitals with valuable information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on Emergency Care.
£100 could support a referral centre that cares for up to 2 million Ugandan citizens by providing vital equipment that will allow trainees to put their training into practice.
Your support today will make a difference to the Ugandan emergency health system for years to come. At a real time of crisis, this training programme will help medical staff develop their skills and further their careers in Emergency Medicine. You will also be supporting the citizens of Uganda, so they have access to a reliable and functional emergency medical service that provides the quality care they deserve.
Please see the Winter Appeal web page for further information.
With best wishes and thanks,
Gordon Miles Dr John Heyworth
Royal College of Emergency Medicine CEO Fundraising Chair