Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation Supporters Update COVID-19
13 August, 2020
COVID-19: We’re all in this together
As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and its impact continues to cause significant damage to economies and societies across the world, the team at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia continue to treat fistula patients with the utmost precaution and care.
Currently, every region in Ethiopia has reported positive cases for COVID-19. As of 1 August, the country has reported over 20,000 confirmed cases and over 350 deaths. Addis Ababa has been a notable hotspot, consequently slowing down travel from regional areas into the capital. Both the Ministry of Health and Hamlin hospitals have reported a reduction in the number of individuals visiting health facilities across the country due to the pandemic.
Sister Konjit, the Matron Nurse at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, says that “the pandemic has definitely affected the flow of fistula victims to our hospitals. It is normal to see a slowdown in patient arrivals during the rainy season but the fear for the pandemic has worsened this. At Hamlin, we are taking different preventive measures inside all of our hospitals to convince our patients of how safe we are.”
As of yet, no COVID-19 cases have been reported at any Hamlin hospitals. A separate room has been prepared for new fistula patients and patients with follow up cases coming to Hamlin hospitals. There, patients stay under observation to see if they have any symptoms for Coronavirus. If patients display no symptoms, their regular fistula treatment proceeds. If patients do show symptoms of COVID-19, they are taken to an isolation room at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. The isolation room includes two beds, appropriate medicine and oxygen, and is supervised by a head . There are currently plans to increase the capacity of the isolation room in case staff at Hamlin need to manage more cases. Hamlin’s Medical Director, Yeshineh Demrew Yigezu, has been in discussions with the Ethiopian Government about Hamlin handling the COVID-19 testing process for every fistula patient before they undergo surgery.
Patients currently undergoing treatment at Hamlin are being taught about Coronavirus and the preventative measures that they should follow. Each patient has been provided with a face mask; patients have been requested to wear a mask while moving around the hospital compound. Hand sanitisers are available in many accessible places. In order to reduce risk to patients and staff, no outside visitors are allowed inside the hospital compound.
Our Hospital Staff
To maintain safe distance within the hospital, staff with accrued annual leave are taking their leave on a roster system to limit the number of staff interacting with patients at any one time. Staff at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia have also been provided with hand sanitiser and face masks. Measures like disinfecting the wards, offices and other facilities inside the hospital continue to ensure that Hamlin staff can continue their work in a safe way.
Thank you for your ongoing support this year and for being part of our Hamlin community.