On 10th April 2020, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor made the first press statement on what Kabale University was doing to support the efforts of Government in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic. The University through its appropriate organs has continued to support Government effort through other urgent interventions. Kabale University is located in a high-risk region, given the porous nature of the borders between Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC; where cases of the people affected have been reported. As such, the region has to increase its vigilance and preparedness. The Kabale District Task Force (DTF) and the Regional Referral Hospital identified key urgent areas that must be addressed to reach the expected level of preparedness, should an outbreak of the Corona Virus occur in the region. Under an MOU between Kabale University (KAB) and Kabale Regional Referral Hospital (KRRH), this Hospital serves as the Teaching Hospital for Kabale University School of Medicine (KABSOM). Hospital facilities are used for the teaching of medical students in addition to the normal health delivery systems. Supporting the renovation of existing facilities falls within the strategic goals and aspirations of creating a conducive environment for medical training by the University and fulfills the national Government objectives, especially within the current environment where the Government health systems and funding are constrained.
Kabale University has provided UGX 72,000,000 (Seventy-two million shillings) to renovate the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which shall be used as the treatment center, in case of any patients during the current national fight against the Corona Virus Pandemic. The Hospital has been operating without an Intensive Care Unit facility. KAB contractors are executing the works, which are expected to be completed within two weeks. This intervention was identified as a priority area, by the DTF, in consultation with the leadership of Kabale Regional Referral Hospital (KRRH). The region of Kigezi will, therefore, be prepared to take on patients, in general, as well as to care for other medical needs of those patients who require critical care. The ICU, therefore, will continue to play this role beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic and will further provide an important infrastructure for medical student training for the University.
Thirty (30) staff members of Kabale University School of Medicine have joined the rest of the health professionals in the region to provide expertise as and when needed. Six (6) senior members of KABSOM are part of the Kabale District Task Force, serving on the different Committees. The University will mobilize and deploy at least 15 more health workers if the need arises. We thank these professionals for this very much-needed service.
The general staff of Kabale University has also responded to the call by H E the President of Uganda by individually contributing towards the Fund to fight COVID-19. Consequently, UGX 3,300,000 (Three million three hundred thousand shillings) has so far been collected. This money has been given to the Districts in the Region of Kigezi, by depositing it at selected Petrol Stations in these Districts to enable the DTF to access fuel. The Districts of Kigezi – Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rubanda, Rukiga, and Rukungiri will benefit.