Bwindi Community Hospital Approved To Conduct Covid-19 Testing

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Bwindi Community Hospital

Bwindi Community Hospital Laboratory is named on the list of approved hospitals to start conducting Covid-19 tests.

Today 12th November 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Uganda has approved the Bwindi Community Hospital to start conducting the Covid-19 testing.

This has come shortly as the government is tightening on the Covid-19 PCR testing at Entebbe International Airport and Bwindi is known to handle a great number of travelers to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to trek mountain gorillas.

This was realized by Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa, the Director of general health services in the MOH in a letter. “This is to confirm that Bwindi Community Hospital Laboratory was assessed, and their staff went through training at Uganda Virus Research Institute. They successfully diagnosed a proficiency panel with 100% score”. He said

At the current level, this laboratory meets the testing standards as per Ministry of Health certification criteria for COVID-19 testing in Uganda.

“Bwindi community hospital laboratory is therefore approved to start handling and testing covid-19 samples in the country”.

The hospital is located in the Buhoma sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable sector constructed mainly to improve the lives of the Batwa people who were seem severely dying of simple bearable sickness. This is the main hospital operating here.

As the government is working to see that all inbound travelers are tested for Covid-19, can some of the travelers be tested at the hospital?

Approving the hospital laboratory to do Covid-19 testing is a move to detect travelers who are opting to trek gorillas to ensure that they are not positive before they head to the apes.

This is a move that aimed at protecting the apes from the Coronavirus infection which can possibly vanish the gorillas away if they possibly get infected.

Trekker’s without a negative PCR test within the limited period of 72 hours should first pass by the hospital for a test. This should apply to even guides and rangers who lead into the forests in addition to other Covid-19 preventive measures.

Background of Bwindi Community Hospital

Bwindi Community Hospital is a private, not-for-profit that was founded by U.S missionaries Dr. Scott and his wife Carol Kellerman under the Diocese of Kinkiizi, Church of Uganda way back in 2003.

The hospital began as an outreach clinic under a tree for the Batwa pygmies, who had been evicted from Bwindi Impenetrable forest in 1991 as it was gazetted a mountain gorilla park.

After realizing that their health needs were almost the same as those of the general population where children and pregnant mothers were dying from easily preventable causes. It accelerated the turning from just a small clinic to a fully-fledged hospital with 135 beds.

The hospital also manages the Uganda Nursing School and Uganda College of Health Sciences Bwindi which boosts a depleted health workforce with top-notch health care workers.

The hospital provides free health services to people living located in Buhoma side just 1km off the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Though there are other smaller health centers that are scattered in remote communities still people travel long distances to access this health facility which can handle quite a wider range of health complications.

And another chance has come has there has been no immediate health facility to do the Covid-19 tests to people around the areas.

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