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10 succumb to Covid at  Soroti hospital over lack of oxygen

Wednesday June 09 2021

As a result of oxygen inadequacies, some patients in the intensive care unit had to be evacuated to Kampala

IN SUMMARY

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A total of 10 patients have died of Covid-19 at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital over the past one month due to shortage of oxygen.

The referral hospital, which is the treatment centre for all Covid-19 patients in Teso Sub-region, has over the last two weeks reported a surge in cases, especially those in critical condition.

But Dr Michael Mwanga, the hospital director, told Daily Monitor on Monday that the surge in Covid-19 cases has led to an acute shortage of oxygen, which  is needed for  management of patients under intensive care  treatment.

Dr Mwanga added that the hospital’s oxygen plant can only generate 30 cylinders per day, which is not enough.

However, he said most of the deaths were late admissions.

“Majority of those who have died were brought or confirmed positive for Covid-19 at advanced stages, making it hard for them to recuperate even when medical doctors put in a lot of effort,” Dr Mwanga explained.

He said most of them died within 48 hours of admission.

“They come late to the hospital, when they are too weak and the concentration of blood is too low,” he said.

As a result of oxygen inadequacies, some patients in the intensive care unit had to be evacuated to Kampala.

He, however, said this shortage will soon become history after the hospital through the Ministry of Health entered into an understanding with Kyambogo University, which will see the latter supply an additional 30 oxygen cylinders per day to the health facility.

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He said the cylinders will be picked after every two days from Kyambogo, with the hospital expected to foot the transport costs.

He also revealed that the hospital has cut the food rations for the Covid-19 patients, saying they can only provide one meal per day, while the rest will be catered for by the patients themselves.

 “Initially the hospital used to provide four meals per day, to help them improve on their immunity, but due to budget constraints, we cannot afford,”

Mr Mwanga said, adding that even the one meal will be stopped if there is no support from government.

SOLUTION

However, the shortage will soon become history after the hospital through the Ministry of Health entered into an understanding with Kyambogo University, which will see the latter supply an additional 30 oxygen cylinders per day to the health facility. The cylinders will be picked after every two days from Kyambogo, with the hospital expected to foot the transport costs.

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