Supporting Masaka through COVID-19: Hospital and Food Programme
Updated: Apr 23
Like most of the world during these unprecedented times, Uganda is currently in lockdown as it tries to tackle the Coronavirus. Sadly, the country recorded its first confirmed case on 21st March, and since then, as of 7th April 2020, this has risen to 54 confirmed cases.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, the government has currently passed strict laws on social distancing, curfews, the movement of people, and the closure of non-essential businesses.
COVID-19 presents a huge challenging for an African country such as Uganda, both in terms of the strain it will place on an undeveloped healthcare system and the resulting economic impact from a lockdown - many families will be unlikely to put food on the table as a result of not being able to go to work.
Therefore, whilst our plastic recycling efforts are currently suspended in Uganda due to COVID-19, we are focusing our activities on supporting the local community in Masaka, where we operate, in tackling the Coronavirus outbreak.
The fundamental reason why we set Eco Brixs up was to help the people of Masaka. Therefore, we are currently directing our funds to help mitigate the impact of the virus on the town.
In partnership with the Uganda Marathon and other key supporters, we are focusing on funding these two key initiatives to maximise our assistance to the Masaka community.
Please read on to find out how we are supporting Masaka and how you can help too...
Masaka Refferal Hospital
This is the main hospital for the whole region of Masaka with a catchment area of six districts. One of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 was found at this hospital and it will be the pivotal point for combating the pandemic in the area.
We have linked with the hospital director, Dr Onyachi, to ensure we support the most needed and urgent processes required within the hospital. Here is a summary of how our funds are helping the hospital and if you would like to donate yourself, some examples of how your donation could make a difference too.
Safety equipment for staff: Doctors, Nurses, Cleaners and Cooks are all putting themselves at risk as they support the patients at the hospital. They are the community’s lifeline and therefore we are directing funding to keep them safe and fed.
- Full set of theatre scrubs and box of 50 pairs of gloves £22.80
- Alcohol hand rub 50mls £2.30
Isolation Spaces: the hospital lacks proper isolation facilities for identified cases. They require temporary structures and tents to ensure those that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can be fully isolated to prevent other patients from being put at risk. Funding from here can also be put towards tracking down cases in the community and following up with others who might have been come into contact with these cases, to limit the spread of the virus.
- 100 seater tent to extend isolation facilities £682
- Tracking of community cases for a period of 1 week £227
Hygiene facilities: the hospital requires more public hand washing facilities at the entrance to the hospital gates and for entering each department within the hospital complex. Water tanks to support these facilities also needs to be fitted.
- Full set of Cleaning tools (brushes, squeezers, mops) £102
- 20 Litres of liquid soap £9
- 2 Litre Spraying pumps £2.30
Increased Patients: the hospital has already seen an increase in patients and requires more facilities to house them. An increased number of waterproof mattresses, blankets and feeding capacity are all required.
- Mattresses with waterproof covers £34
- Boxes of Drinking water (24 bottles) £2.80
- Feed a patient for a day £5.70
Infrastructure: the hospital replies on a back-up power system which is now more vital than ever and is in vital need of repair and needs to be serviced asap. Furthermore, there is also a need for better industrial washing machine facilities to improve staff and patient safety and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
- Back-up Power system repair £568
- Washing machine to prevent cross-contamination £682
- Rechargeable lamps £18.20
Food and Feeding Programme
2.5 million of Uganda’s population are part of the informal job sector. With a lockdown in place and no public transport in operation they have no financial safety net to fall back on and no government support to rely on. Furthermore, with school closures, there are also more mouths to feed at home and those that were on free school meals programs have one less meal available.
It is estimated that the precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 might even cause more fatalities than the virus itself. It is a necessity to include plans to feed the vulnerable amongst the community.
Therefore, we will also divert funding to follow initiatives:
Food Distribution: Working with the office of Resident District Commissioner (RDC) we have devised the following plan in line with government plans to support the most vulnerable households.
- Feed an individual and provide soap for handwashing for two weeks £10.00
Building Community gardens: churches and the Buganda Kingdom have large plots of un-used land in Masaka in which we can plant our target crops. We can then use the local charity network of Uganda Marathon projects, churches and the Local Chairman leaders to help identify the most vulnerable families to benefit from these crop yields. This programme will be able to feed 100 people when the harvest is ready in two and a half months. Each vulnerable household will receive 3kg of beans and 2kg of Maize for planting.
- Provide food security for a family of four £4.20
We are already diverting funds to these programmes and a massive thank you to those who have already donated to support these efforts! Sadly, it is likely the crises is just starting in Uganda, and as many countries have already seen, this virus spreads rapidly once it has arrived. Therefore it is vital we act now in preparing Masaka to weather this crisis.
If you would like to support this hospital and food programme as well, you can donate via our page. 100% of your donation will go directly to supporting Masaka and we offer all of our donors a clear and transparent way to see exactly where your money is spent in making a difference to the community.
Thank you for your kind support.