Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Covid-19 Taskforce are concerned about the inadequate supply of oxygen and drugs used in the treatment of Covid-19 Patients in Jinja Regional Referral Hospital.
The Deputy Director of the Hospital, Angela Namara told the MPs the Eastern Uganda Team that the current oxygen supply is low compared to the number of patients that require it daily.
“Currently, the oxygen plant has capacity to supply 25-30 cylinders daily as compared to the 60 cylinders that are needed in the treatment of Covid-19 patients,” she said.
She added that due to the low oxygen, the hospital cannot afford maximise its capacity in the treatment of Covid.
“We are supposed to use two to three oxygen cylinders on one patient a day but we find ourselves constrained by the shortfall,” she said.
Namara added that Jinja referral hospital is out of drugs like vitamin c, azithromycin and othersthat are crucial in the treatment of Covid-19.
Butebo County MP, Hon Patrick Mutono who is also the chairperson of the team, said that their visit was timely in order to assess the impact of Covid-19 on government hospitals.
“We have found out that one of the main challenges being faced by Jinja referral hospital is the inadequacy of oxygen hence causing a number of deaths among Covid-19 Patients,” Mutono said.
He added that government needs a robust programme to equip the hospitals in order to mitigate the issues that are arise especially from supplies made by National Medical stores.
Soroti City West MP, Hon Jonathan Ebwalu MP raised concern on the staffing levels at the hospital adding that they are overwhelmed with the number of people infected.
Ebwalu said that medical workers are also exposed to Covid-19 through the inadequacy in the supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) like masks.
“During our interface with National Medical Stores, we were told that there was enough protective gear for the medical workers. The hospitals ought to requisition for the PPEs in time to reduce the number of medical staff being infected,” he said.
He said that due to the infection of medical personnel it was also noted that patients suffering from other diseases were shunned.
Dr. Mutono said that the taskforce will make recommendations that will seek to address these shortcomings.
The taskforce is scheduled to visit Namayingo, Tororo, Busia, Butaleja, Mbale, Soroti, Pallisa and Bukedea districts.