The delta variant is spreading among Africans at a shocking level of diffusion - 225 times faster than the first wave of the original virus in Africa. Uganda has a high number of cases in the under 40 age group, with an increasing mortality. Most patients require hospitalization in intensive or sub-intensive care units. The oxygen demand, with patients consuming between 4 and 6 tanks per day against the 1-2 tanks of patients admitted to sub-intensive care for other pathologies, has increased exponentially.
At Kalongo hospital COVID19 - reference center for mild and moderate cases, the positivity rate is now 22%, but the cases are certainly many more given the scarce number of tests available.
"Our testing algorithm is primarily aimed only at people who have COVID-like symptoms to optimize the scarce testing resources we have" - says Dr. Smart, director of the hospital - "This means that the positives who do not show symptoms cannot be reached and also those who have come into contact with infected people cannot be tested. We recommend that all traceable contacts self-isolate for at least 10 days. Traceability is very complex and difficult to put into practice in our communities of isolated villages".
Since June 20 patients have been hospitalized and treated and 80% of them were oxygen-dependent, but thanks to the tenacity of the doctors and hospital staff only 3 patients have died. To face this pandemic, which is added to an already precarious health situation, the hospital was able to guarantee treatment thanks to the support of Ambrosoli Foundation, not charging patients any costs, unlike many other hospitals in the country. To help the hospital coping with the pandemic, the Foundation has allocated approximately € 82,000 since 2020 for the supply of masks, gloves, disinfectants, breathing equipment. Our thanks go to you who support us and who are close to us! The situation could not be more dramatic, not only in the present, but also in perspective. The vaccination campaign in Africa is not following the expected pace, only 1% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
“We have a difficult path ahead. There is a lack of drugs, medical devices and basic equipment - Dr. Smart states - "with the speed of spread of the virus, the reserves of the hospitals have run out, even here in Kalongo. Our isolation ward is old, unsuitable and unsafe for patients care. But above all, the supply of oxygen remains very demanding. It is risky and we cannot rely on concentrators which often break due to constant use. An impact that affects the entire hospital: children continue to be born, premature cases increase, malaria, malnutrition and tuberculosis do not give a break.
Do not leave them alone!