By Ivan Mwine
The government of Uganda has through the Ministry of Health constructed an oxygen plant at Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital, in a bid to fight the shortage for oxygen in the country which manifested during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The oxygen plant which was constructed with support from the USAID, is to be launched today April 05, 2022, at a function that will be presided over by officials from the Ministry led by Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine, among others.
According to officials from the Ministry of Health, so far the Ministry has installed four (4) new Pressure Adsorption Swing (PSA) oxygen plants at Referral Hospitals in Kabale, Kayunga, Masaka and Soroti districts.
Officials from the Ministry reveal that the new oxygen plants will go a long way in helping hospitals manage pneumonia, COVID-19, surgeries and other emergency cases that require oxygen.
The decision to construct these oxygen plants was guided by the fact that access to oxygen can make the difference between life and death for patients with severe COVID-19.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Health last year announced an oxygen shortage in the country.
Diana Atwine, Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, said during an interview with local media that there was a high demand of oxygen due to the surge in numbers of COVID-19 patients in High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units (ICU) across the country.
“Yes, it is true we have shortage of oxygen in the country, and that is why we are trying to get more oxygen plants,” said Atwine.
Local media reported then that medical oxygen was running out in several districts across the country amid the second wave of the novel coronavirus in the country.
However, the demand for oxygen reduced with the reduction of COVID-19 cases in High Dependency Units and ICUs as a result of government’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
But the Ministry is not taking any more chances in a bid to safeguard the lives of Ugandans that need oxygen, reason why oxygen plants are being constructed at Regional Referral Hospitals across the country.