By Goodluck Musinguzi
Coughing, heavy breathing, fever, Shortness of breath (SOB), also known as dyspnoea) is a feeling of not being able to breathe well enough. Distinct sensations include effort/work, chest tightness, and air hunger (the feeling of not enough oxygen) the patients are taken directly to the Intensive Care Unit.
2500 Patients have been admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital on the verge of losing their precious life. As of 30th November 2020, total discharge was 2,137 patients with 150 failing to make it(deaths).
Most positive Covid19 patients are taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital when its hope against hope. They come on life support when they are seeking healing in this government facility. Its not good to condemn them but to help them out of their dark moments.
Many spend 3 weeks on oxygen, they get tired as its their darkest hour. Doctors and their support teams do their best.
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says “I give God the glory. Its not because we are superstars in treating these diseases but it’s his mercy that out of 2500 cases admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital 2137 have been discharged. We thank all our staff for this. They are confined here away from their families to stay and care for these patients”.
She said when we treat and heal, no one talks about it. When any thing goes wrong during our work, they forget the lives saved and this is what makes news. But let’s keep up the care, commitment and responsibility to our patients because for us its a calling. We are a special group.
Recently, Sunday Monitor ran a screaming headline, “INVESTIGATION: How lack of oxygen, poor health sector is killing COVID-19 patients in Uganda”
Havard Business Review of America said “Coronavirus Is Exposing Deficiencies in U.S. Health Care”
The Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital, Dr Dr Byarugaba Baterana said current admission stands at 160 with 95 patients in severe state admitted in High Dependency Unit, 5 in Intensive Care Unit and 60 in General ward.
The newspaper claimed two patients a 70- year- old and a 27 -year- old, all battling Coronavirus died from the hospital’s ICU after hooking them to the ventilator beds. But the hospital set record straight that the patients died of severe COVID-19 with multi-organ dysfunction.
The Deputy Executive Director of Mulago hospital clarified that the patients, who include a 70-year-old was a referral from Rubaga Hospital ICU, a 27 year-old case referred from Hoima Regional Referral Hospital and 46 year-old case, died
“It is therefore not true that the patients died due to lack oxygen. During this period, the Mulago Hospital ICU had other patients who posted better outcomes”.
The newly installed 4 oxygen plants at the Hospital makes it the largest Oxygen plant in the country that is able to generate 2,083 liters of oxygen per minute.
In 24 hours the Mulago, the plant can generate about 2,999,520 liters of oxygen which in normal circumstances can serve about 900 patients. The four are part of the seven plants procured by the Ministry of Health to meet the oxygen needs in the country.