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February 24, 2024
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Mulago clarifies on insufficient oxygen claims

Mulago National Referral Hospital has refuted claims that many patients are dying at the facility due to a lack of oxygen supply. Mulago says though the hospital can’t meet the 100-cylinder capacity needed per day due to high demand, the hospital tries hard to outsource oxygen to sustain the demand.

In past days, reports have indicated that the number of covid-19 patients is overwhelmingly high, which has led to increased deaths in Mulago National Referral. The deaths are tagged to the low oxygen supply in the national referral hospital.  

Mulago however says these are just rumours, arguing that some patients are delayed at lower health facilities and by the time they reach Mulago, the situation is out of hand.

Results of COVID-19 tests done on 12 June 2021 according to the ministry of health confirmed 1,122 new cases. The cumulative confirmed cases now stand at 63,099 with 440. The demand for oxygen is very high and the hospital buys from outside despite owning a plant.

In 24 hours, the hospital oxygen plant produces 2.99 million liters of oxygen, which they say is enough to usual patients who need between one to 10 liters of oxygen per minute.

But dealing with the Covid-19 situation, a single patient may need up to 70 liters per minute which is too high. The machines at the plant produce 2,083 liters per minute but are currently over stretched to produce 2,999, which reduces the high pressure and purity levels.

However, Mulago is in the final stages of getting another plant to boost its capacity. The Hospital director Byarugaba Baterana says medication at the national facility is free and Ugandans should not fear going to the hospital.

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