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Mulago yet to receive funds to handle COVID-19 patients


Mulago struggling to feed COVID-19 patients

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mulago National Referral Hospital needs a special budget to feed COVID-19 positive patients. Officials have said they did not receive a specific budget for management of Covid-19 patients.

This was revealed by hospital officials led by the Executive Director Dr Byarugaba Baterana.

“Mulago did not get funds to handle the COVID-19 patients. So we are using the funds of the financial year, for all the patients,” he told the committee.

Although he did not reveal how much is required, Dr Baterana noted that the hospital lacks funds to purchase especially food. Dr Baterana explained to MPs that COVID-19 patients require much food and drinks compared to other patients.

“The normal patients are sick, they have no appetite….these other ones (COVID-19) are normal people, they have all the appetite, they need all the meals. People are demanding the food of their choice,” he told the MPS.

The Hospital Director also noted that the health workers treating COVID-19 patients are supposed to be accommodated and fed at the facility, which requires additional food.

“They also demand meals. If you have 200 health workers and you are giving them breakfast, lunch, evening tea and supper you face it and you are doing the same to about now 280 patients  because they want to eat very well,” said Dr Baterana.

He also noted that the hospital requires funds to purchase disposable cups, plates and utensils. He explains that the utensils are disposed of after every meal.

Dr Baterana

The officials had appeared before the committee on Tuesday to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor-General in the financial year 2018/2019 report.

Asked by Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja about the preparedness of the hospital to handle the increasing number ofCOVID-19 patients, Dr Baterana said that they have a 900 bed capacity in the newly built Mulago wing, and 280 COVID-19 patients under treatment.

The Committee Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi questioned the relationship between the hospital and the National COVID-19 task force, and why no money has been availed to the facility.

Baterana told MPs that the allowances for the health workers was paid by the national task force, but they have only received some items like food and mattresses.

“They only pay the health workers, in terms of allowances, and we get consumables. We have not got any vehicle… what we got in terms of donations are matooke, some rice, milk and eggs, and about 100 beds and mattresses. Others we did not get, maybe they are on the way, they are coming, only they have been delayed,” he said.

Nandala asked the hospital officials to draft the budget which will be presented to Parliament for consideration.

Uganda has so far registered 2,362 COVID-19 positive cases and out of these, 1,248 have recovered while 22 people have died.






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