Coronavirus disease–2019 Morbidity and Mortality among Health Care Workers in Uganda

Health care workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of acquiring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to determine and compare the morbidity and mortality rates due to COVID-19 among the HCWs and the general population (non-HCWs). We conducted a retrospective chart review. We accessed electronic database of participants admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital COVID-19 Treatment Unit (CTU) between March 2020 and September 2021. Participants with missing occupations were excluded. Of 594 eligible participants, 6.4% (n=38) were HCWs. Compared with non-HCWs, HCWs were much younger (48 versus 55 years, p=0.020). The proportion of participants with severe disease (73.7% versus 77.6%, p=0.442), who had not received COVID-19 vaccine (91.2% versus 94.7%, p=0.423), mortality rate (44.7% versus 54.8%, p=0.243) and the median length of hospitalization (6 versus 7 days, p=0.913) were similar among HCWs and non-HCWs, respectively. A higher proportion of HCWs required oxygen therapy (24.3% versus 9.7%, p<0.01). At admission, the presence of cough (p=0.723), breathlessness (p=0.722), fever (p=0.19), sore throat (p=0.133), comorbidities (p=0.403) and headache (p=0.162) were similar across groups. Rhinorrhoea was more common among HCWs (34.4% versus 16.6%, p=0.017). Among HCWs, nurses had the highest morbidity (52.6%) and mortality (58.8%). The morbidity and mortality among HCWs in Uganda were substantial, with a low COVID-19 vaccination rate and a higher requirement for oxygen therapy despite a younger age.
Health care workers, COVID-19, Morbidity, Mortality
Ssetaba, L. J., Mirembe, J., Omega, J., Okot, J., Kiguli, S., Nakwagala, F. N., & Bongomin, F. (2022). Coronavirus disease–2019 morbidity and mortality among health care workers in Uganda. Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease, 9, 20499361221136415.