Like much of the world's population at the moment, Uganda is under strict lockdown as it desperately tries to contain the coronavirus. Whilst our plastic collection efforts are on hold, we're focusing on supporting Masaka, where we operate, through this crisis.
We've been diverting our funds to support the hospital in coping with the fallout of the pandemic, and also in setting up a food programme to support most vulnerable who now can't work due to the lockdown.
Over the past few weeks, we've also invited our friends and supporters to contribute to these programmes, and we've been astounded by the response - over £26,000 has been raised to help Masaka through COVID-19.
From everyone at Eco Brixs, and all of Masaka, a massive thank you for your kind support!
Here is an update on how your donations are already making a huge difference to Masaka Referral Hospital in tackling COVID-19.
A thank you and update from the Hospital Director
Dr Onyachi, the hospital director tells us how the hospital has a catchment area of up to 2 million from the 9 surrounding districts, and with only 330 beds, is under-resourced, yet at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 in the area.
So far the received funds have allowed the hospital to test 212 people for the virus around the hospital's vicinity, in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Crucially, this has allowed the hospital to identify 4 people who have tested as positive, who are now being safely isolated away from the rest of the population, and are receiving treatment.
Furthermore, the funding has also allowed the hospital to invest in handwashing facilities to help stop the spread of the virus, as well as buy bedding for increased patient numbers and purchase a washing machine to prevent cross-contamination.
This is making all the difference at the moment as hospital resources are quickly becoming depleted under increased demand, for which he expresses his gratitude for the support. The first instalment of 12.4 million Ugandan shillings has already made a huge difference and is the biggest aid the hospital has received in fighting off COVID-19 so far!
Increased testing to contain the virus
The donations so far have been vital in funding increased testing within Masaka, which has been seen in many countries around the world in being vital in stopping the spread of the virus.
Here, rigour testing is being carried out around the hospital, to protect the patients and facility.
More handwashing facilities
Much like increased testing around the hospital, funding has allowed more handwashing facilities to be installed at key points around the hospital to prevent the spread of germs.
Isolation spaces set up
Here Dr Mark, who is the doctor heading up the isolation and treatment department for Masaka Referral Hospital, tells us how the donations have made a huge difference in terms of preparing an isolation space to cater for 40 patients. The funding has helped to improve the facility and has provided supplies, blankets, water dispensers, bedding and handwashing facilities.
With further funding, Dr Mark anticipates they will be able to improve the facility further, to add blinds, screens, and make patients more comfortable during their isolation and treatment.
A thank from our CEO, protecting the hospital and managing the border
Here, our CEO Andy Bownds thanks everyone for supporting the healthcare system in Masaka during this difficult time and also shows us the screening process which is taking place now, thanks to the donations, in order to protect the hospital.
Dr Mark and Andy also tell us about the challenges which Masaka faces in terms of relieving many people who have recently crossed national borders, from countries such as Tanzania (which currently has no lockdown), and how managing this will be vital for Masaka.
Sadly it is likely, in order to contain the virus in a country such as Uganda, and protect the people, more funding will be needed, so please donate if you can.
Finally, please, please do stay safe during this challenging time.
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.
If you would like to read about how your donation can make a difference to the hospital through this crisis, you can read more details on our hospital programme here.
Finally, if you would like to donate, you can do so via the link below. Thank you for your kind support.