In Uganda, from 3 January 2020 to, 9 August 2021, there have been 95,474 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,785 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 8 August 2021, a total of 1,123,221 vaccine doses have been administered.

During the deadly second wave of the pandemic, Uganda has suffered an acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), oxygen and intensive care beds. Almost all hospitals, public and private ran out or reported
acute shortages of these essentials for the care of the escalating number of patients with Covid-19, forcing
medical staff to decide who gets admitted for treatment. Several frontline health workers have lost their lives to Covid-19 because they did not have enough PPE, or access to vaccines.

The IOP team heard about the challenges of care for patients following a publication of a story “Oxygen failure kills 30 Covid patients at Mulago” in the Daily Monitor on June 27, 2021. The SJHS International Outreach Program (IOP) donated $25,000 dollars for the purchase of PPE (to be purchased in Uganda). In addition, a team from McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences began to collect donated PPE, medical supplies and equipment to ship to Uganda in a container. St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton donated 201,000 masks to be included in this shipment.

Masks at the West 5th Campus loading dock awaiting shipment to Uganda
Masks at the West 5th Campus loading dock, awaiting shipment to Uganda