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  • Andy Teale

How we're supporting Masaka Referral Hospital through COVID-19

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

The front gates to Masaka Referral Hospital

Like much of the world at the moment, Uganda is currently on lockdown as it tries to tackle COVID-19 and limit its spread amongst the population. So, whilst our plastic collection activities are on hold, we're focusing our efforts on supporting Masaka (the town where we operate) through this time of crisis.

To do this, we picked a few key areas of the community to focus on. One of these is Masaka Referral Hospital, which is the main hospital in the area.

Sadly, like much of the Ugandan healthcare system, the hospital is underprepared to deal with a pandemic. The hospital serves a catchment area of 1.5 million, but it only has 330 beds and no ventilator machines. It's clear the hospital will quickly become overwhelmed in the coming weeks if cases of coronavirus do spike as they have in many other countries around the world.

On top of the challenges associated with increased patient numbers, the hospital's current infrastructure also presents issues, from maintaining hygiene to ensuring regular power supply - all of which combined with COVID-19, will cost many lives.

Therefore, we're currently diverting our funds to supporting Masaka Referral Hospital prepare for COVID-19. If you would like to contribute to these efforts as well, here are some examples below of how your donation, however small, could make a huge difference to many people's lives in Masaka.


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 but are sadly lacking vital basic equipment to tackle the virus:

- Full set of theatre scrubs (gloves, masks, gowns) and a box of 50 pairs of gloves for healthcare staff


- Alcohol hand rub 50mls £2.30


Isolation Spaces and Tracking Cases

The Coronavirus testing team in Masaka

The hospital lacks proper isolation facilities for identified cases. Therefore, 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 is also needed to follow up with cases in the community who might have come into contact with confirmed cases, to limit the further spread of the virus.

- 100 seater tent to extend isolation facilities


- Tracking of community cases for a period of 1 week



Hygiene facilities

An African lady washes her hands with soap to protect again COVID-19

The hospital requires more public hand washing facilities at the entrance to the hospital gates and for entering each department within the hospital complex. Further cleaning equipment will also help maintain hygiene standards across the hospital and aid prevention.

- Full set of Cleaning tools (brushes, squeezers, mops)


- 20 Litres of liquid soap


- 2 Litre Spraying pumps



Increased Patients

Coronavirus Isolation facilities at Masaka Referral Hospital

The hospital has already seen an increase in patients and requires more facilities, basic equipment and food and water in order to provide care for them.

- Mattresses, Blankets & bedsheets


- Feed a patient for a day


- Boxes of Drinking water (24 bottles)




Power cuts are a frequent occurrence in Masaka, and therefore the hospital replies on a back-up power system which is in vital need of repair and needs servicing. Better industrial washing machine facilities are also needed to improve staff and patient safety and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

- Back-up Power system repair


- Washing machine to prevent cross-contamination


- Rechargeable lamps for extended facilities



A massive thank you to those who have already donated to support these efforts! If you would like to support the hospital through this crisis, we commit to 100% of your donation going directly to supporting Masaka and we will keep you updated in how your contribution is making a difference.

Working together with the medics of Masaka, we can help the community through this difficult, challenging time. Thank you for your kind support.

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