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Facelift of ICU boosts healthcare services at Jinja hospital

Part of the Jinja regional referral hospital’s Intensive Care Unit-ICU.

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The uplift of the Intensive care unit-ICU at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital will boost health service delivery, legislators on the government assurance and implementation committee have revealed. In the wake of the covid19 pandemic, Jinja Regional Referral Hospital struggled to handle critical patients due to an inefficient ICU. As a result, the hospital referred some of the critical patients to Mulago National Specialised Referral Hospital for better management.

However, on Tuesday, the hospital unveiled 12 ICU beds with fully installed ventilators to handle critical patients. Three of the beds have been earmarked for Covid-19 patients while the remaining with serve other critical cases. 

Aisha Mohammed, an attendant of a patient told URN that her relative was receiving critical healthcare at a private clinic but the health workers directed them to offer him home-based oxygen therapies claiming that their patient had stabilized. She, however, says that his condition worsened prompting them to seek redress at a public hospital.

“We connected him on portable oxygen cylinders but his condition instead worsened, prompting us to bring him here and he is steadily improving,” she said at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. Patrick Kasumba, the Bujenje county MP who led the delegation of MPs on thegovernment assurance and implementation committee, says that equipping Jinja hospital had become one of the government’s unfulfilled pledges for the past six years.

He says that when they inspected the facility in January, they noticed that despite the strained caused on the country’s health care system by the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital’s ICU was less nonfunctional with only two fully equipped beds.  

Kasumba says that the hospital also lacked an ambulance and would often rely on private entities or other lower health facilities in case of emergencies and patient referrals. He, however, says that the Ministry of Health-MOH has since allocated two standby ambulances to the facility.  

Robert Musoke, the Budiope West County MP says that the hospital is known for referring minor cases to superior health facilities due to lack of specialized equipment. “My fellow legislators from this sub-region have often expressed dismay on how some of their voters lost lives to Covid-19 due to the inefficiencies in the ICU. However, with the current supply of new equipment, members of the general public will eventually have access to quality critical healthcare services,” he said.

Florence Tugumisirize, the Director Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, says MOH contracted six staff to handle Covid-19 cases at the facility. She says that they also boast of four anaesthetic staff and intern nurses specializing in anaesthesia, who have been assigned to handle other critical cases at the ICU.



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