Five people have died at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Uganda, following the closure of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because of a failed machine.
The closure of the unit has mostly affected patients of pneumonia, head injuries, heart and kidney failure prompting the hospital officials to turn away patients. “Those who had money sought services elsewhere those who didn’t have to wait for God to decide their fate,” the source added.
Mulago Hospital, which serves as Uganda’s main hospital and was constructed in 1962, is now a run-down relic as most of the original equipment is still in use at the facility.
However, the hospital’s Executive Director, Dr Byarugaba Baterana recently told the press that the equipment at the unit was too old and needed to be replaced. Another source at the hospital stated that the facility need Shs3 billion for new equipment.
The question then is, “Where did the $56 million loan procured by the hospital in February from the African Development Bank disappear to?”
Mr Enock Kusasira, the hospital spokesperson, dismissed the deaths saying they were not ICU-related since the patients did not die from the unit. He also added that the machines were lacking only filters which are an important component in the ICU and also protect patients from germs and infections. He said there was a procurement delay but that the filters were expected in the next two weeks.
Without a filter, a patient cannot be put on a ventilator which is usually used by patients who are not able to breathe normally or sufficiently.