Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 32 Covid-19 patients have died in the Intensive Care Unit of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital over the last two months. The deaths occurred between April 13, 2021, and June 13th, 2021 during the second wave of COVID-19. The same unit handled 324 patients between March 2020 and February, 2021 in the first wave.
Thirty of the 324 patients didn’t make it, five were referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital while 281 were successfully treated and discharged after full recovery. Florence Tugumisirize, the Executive Director Jinja Regional Referral Hospital says they have so far admitted 156 COVID-19 patients in the second wave. She says 124 of these were treated and discharged while 32 succumbed to the virus.
According to Tugumisirize, their ICU has 32 beds but they currently have 53 patients. She says that due to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients and referrals from other facilities, they have been forced to expand the ICU by temporarily converting the general male ward and part of the private wing into COVID-19 treatment wards.
Tugumisirize argues that unlike the first wave where cases were not very severe, most of the patients showing up now have severe disease and need oxygen for survival. She says that due to the low output of oxygen from their plant, they largely depend on the daily 40 oxygen cylinder donation from Mayuge Steels factory limited.
She however says that despite the current boost which has raised their daily oxygen output capacity to 70 oxygen cylinders, the demand is increasing each day.
Moses Isabirye, a COVID-19 survivor told URN that he was briefly admitted at the facility and enrolled on the home-based care management.
“For the three days I spent at the facility, all the other patients admitted in CTU were receiving oxygen therapies on a daily basis and health workers were seen inspecting them after every two hours,” he said.