Sheema Municipality MP Dickson Kashumbwa is appalled by what a team of legislators touring Western Uganda to assess the management of the Covid-19 pandemic has found.
Kateshumbwa and his colleagues are shocked that although the government has invested heavily to equip the Intensive Care Units in regional referral hospitals, some of these health facilities cannot be fully utilised because there are no personnel to operate them. This prompts families to take their Covid-19 patients to private hospitals where they are charged exorbitantly, to the extent of depositing their land titles.
An ICU bed is designed and built in such a way that a patient on it can have his failing systems assisted by technology to operate while treatment is being administered until the body regains the capacity to work on its own.
A top of the range ICU bed for instance comes fitted with a ventilator, which is an artificial lung that helps someone with covid-like lung complications to breath as treatment is being administered. Patients in ICU thus require ICU beds but the ICU bed requires special skills to operate, for it it not just for sleeping on. It is part of the equipment.
Because the treatment in ICU is like being in a theatre, with the different body metabolism requiring to be stabilised during administration of different forms of treatment, an Anesthesiologist must be at hand all the time.
As such, every ICU is not complete without a Critical Care Nurse and an Anesthesiologist.
The legislators moving around the western region have therefore been shocked to find that Hoima Regional Referral Hospital, Mbarara RRH and Fort Portal are not able to use all the ICU beds that have been procured at huge cost because there are enough critical care nurses.
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