BY PATRA KIRUNGI
FORT PORTAL: Saturday, August 14, 2021
The association of anesthesiologists will for the next four weeks offer voluntary services to the intensive care units (ICU) of three regional referral hospitals-Fort Portal, Jinja and Lira.
This was recently revealed by the association’s leadership and the ministry of health during a meeting at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.
The voluntary service is intended to give support to the local teams working at the ICU, according to a joint press statement delivered by the association’s president, Dr. Joseph Kiwanuka and the Director Clinical and Curative Services in the ministry of health, Dr. Charles Olaro.
Since the onset of Covi-19 pandemic, the ministry of Health has embarked on a program to enhance critical care services in the country by procuring ICU equipment to help the critically ill patients that come to the facilities.
However, the association notes that the few numbers of anesthesiologists at most of Uganda’s health facilities is not sufficient.
Uganda requires 400 anesthesiologists and 5,000 ICU nurses to adequately staff ICUs at all the regional referral hospitals.
According to Dr. Joseph Draku, the Fort Portal Regional Referral hospital director, the facility has no such specialist yet it receives an average of six patients on a weekly basis that require such services.
Dr. Kiwanuka said they are hopeful that by the end of August this year, the public will have ably benefited from the functional ICUs in the three Regional facilities where they are extending their voluntary services.
He disclosed that while they build their muscle to extend the services to the rest of the hospitals, they are also in the final stages of setting up a call center to provide support and supervision to the local teams.