Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces-UPDF engineering brigade has started renovating the intensive care unit at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital-JRRH. One of the engineers told URN on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely on the matter since he is not the official spokesperson of the team, that renovation works will take six months.
He explained that the works will include the expansion of the ICU building, refurbishment of the interior, reroofing and painting. “What we are doing here is basically the comprehensive renovation of the whole ICU building, fitting it with the required amenities needed to ensure smooth operability of health workers and the general wellbeing of patients admitted in the ward,” he said.
Angela Namala, the acting Director of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital,who declined to reveal the cost of the entire renovation works told URN on Sunday that the ICU ward needed a facelift and the repair of some of the interior fittings. Namala says that four ICU beds have been relocated to the eye ward, where severe patient cases shall be handled at the hospital.
“Routinely, severe cases admitted within the ICU were very few, but with the pandemic, the cases increased to about three on a daily basis, prompting the Ministry of health to equip us with more ICU beds in order to meet the overwhelming demand at the time. We have now set up about four ICU beds to accommodate severe cases, whereas the other 11 beds will be properly stored, awaiting the full reopening of the ICU ward,” she said.
She however says that they still lack the required intensivists mandated with ensuring the standard operationalization of the ICU. “An average number of about four intensivists would greatly ease work at the ICU, however, due to scarcity of such experts in the country, coupled with the availability of juicy jobs for them within the Kampala area, it has been hard for us to attract them here,” she said.
An intensivist is a physician who specializes in the care and treatment of patients in intensive care. According to Namale, a few of their staff were trained by senior intensivists during the intense COVID-19 management period. “The skills acquired can ably meet our patient demands, as we await for the recruitment of expatriates in this field,” she said.