Characteristics of the COVID-19 patients treated at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, Northern Uganda: A cross-sectional study
Background Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe respiratory disease that results from infection with a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). One of the most critical issues related to the COVID-19 is the high rate of spread, millions of people have been infected around the world, and hundreds of thousands of people have died till now. However, reports from Africa paint a different picture of the SARS-CoV-2 and its effects on the population.
Objectives The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of the COVID-19 patients treated at the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and determine factors associated with COVID-19 manifestations, socio-demographic characteristics, and treatment outcomes from March 2020 to October 2021.
Methods A retrospective data abstraction of all COVID-19 hospital admissions registered in the Gulu Health Management Information System (HMIS) database and other tools were conducted. The period of study was March 2020 to October 2021. Data that met the inclusion criteria were consecutively abstracted from the Gulu Hospital HMIS database. A local IRB approved the study. SPSS version 25.0 was used for data analysis, and a p-value of 0.05 was considered signi cant.
Results Data suggests there were three waves of COVID-19 in Uganda. Those with comorbidities, e.g., Diabetes mellitus 38(5.7%), hypertension 83(12.5%), cardiovascular diseases 58(8.7%), HIV and AIDS 61(9.2%), and other comorbidities such as liver cirrhosis and hepatitis B 40(6.0%) were more susceptible and presented with severe forms of the disease. Antibiotics 662(99.7%), steroids 73(11.0%), vitamin C 564(84.9%), Ivermectin 7(1.1%), and Vitamin D 24(3.6%) were the most used medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Most COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated 661(99.5%). However, the recovery rate was 632(95.2%). The commonest complications were pneumonia 60(9.0%), chronic fatigue 49(7.4%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) 37(5.6%), depression 20(3.0%), systemic infections 19(2.9%), nightmares 15(2.3%) and septic shock 8(1.2%). The Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) on factors associated with recovery were treated with steroids AOR=138.835 at 95% CI:12.258-1572.50; p<0.000 and Vitamin D AOR=0.016 at 95% CI:1.902-520.98; p=0.016.
Conclusion This study showed successful management of COVID-19 patients in low-resource settings with a recovery rate of 95.2%. The admission pattern suggests Uganda had three waves of COVID-19, contrary to the o cial government position of two. Treatment with steroids and Vitamin D is associated with the recovery of COVID-19 patients. There is a need to conduct more extensive studies on the role played by the two drugs in the successful recovery of COVID-19 patients.
Conclusion This study shows successful management of COVID-19 patients in low resource settings in Gulu Regional Referral Hospital with a recovery rate of 95.2%. The pattern of admission to the Hospital suggests Uganda has experienced three waves of COVID-19, contrary to the o cial government position of two waves. Treatment of COVID-19 patients with steroids and Vitamin D is associated with recovery of COVID 19 patients. However, there is a need for Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials to determine the actual effects of these drugs in the Treatment of COVID-19 infections.
Declarations Ethics approval and consent to participate: The Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Institutional and Ethics Committee approved this study, and all participants consented to the study. In addition, the study was conducted following the relevant institutional guidelines and regulations. Competing interests: All authors declare no con ict of interest. Authors contributions: DLK, ENI, PL, JNO, JA, and FWDO participated in designing the study, SB and DLK were responsible for data abstraction supervision, BS, JA, ENI, and DLK were responsible for data analysis, interpretation, writing, and CO, NAO, WAO, BT, JE, PA, PL, FPP, DA, JNO, FWDO, for revising the manuscript. Principal Investigator: Prof. David Kitara Lagoro This qualitative component will occur at most health facilities and in the nine districts in the Acholi subregion in Northern Uganda. The purpose: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there..
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