Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mulago National Referral Hospital has received equipment to set up a fifth oxygen plant to help meet the demand of oxygen as COVID-19 cases in the country increase.
The new plant will supplement the amount of oxygen produced by the already existing four plants. According to hospital administrators, the new plant will produce 70 cubic meters of Oxygen which translates to 70,000 litres per hour or 1,166 litres per minute.
David Nuwamanya, the Mulago hospital principal administrator says the fifth plant will increase the amounts of oxygen that the hospital can supply at the moment.
With the new plant, the hospital will now be able to produce 4,165 litres of oxygen per minute. Previously, the hospital was producing 2,999 litres, which was more than its installed capacity of 2,083 litres of oxygen per minute. The equipment for the plant was procured by the Ministry of Health.
Despite the increase in oxygen produced, Nuwamanya says the hospital will still depend on using Oxygen cylinders since the majority of the admitted patients require large amounts of Oxygen that cannot be entirely supplied by the hospital’s central line. At the moment, the hospital has been using more than 100 Oxygen cylinders.
At the moment, 175 patients are admitted at the COVID-19 treatment unit at Mulago. 90 percent of these, according to Niwamanya need oxygen in varying amounts.
The increase in production of Oxygen will put to bed concerns of some experts that were worried about the quality of breathing air being produced at the hospital.
In addition to receiving equipment for the new plant, the hospital also received a tank of liquefied oxygen from Kenya. The oxygen will be purified and then used to fill a cylinder that will supply other parts of the hospital with oxygen.
The demand for oxygen comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 infections in the country is on the rise. According to data from the health ministry, 1,004 cases are admitted to different treatment facilities in the country.