Health minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has dismissed reports that four patient died at Mulago National Referral Hospital over the weekend due to the absence of oxygen.
According to Rukunda, the patients died as a result of advanced illness. He explains that 41 patients were admitted in ward 3B on the fateful day in critical condition.
He says 37 of the 41 patients were stabilized and moved back to their specialized wards.
Rugunda said that one of the deceased patients he identified as Nicholas Kizza was admitted with a very low CD4 count and advanced tuberculosis, which had affected all his internal organs.
He explains that Kizza died an hour later while on oxygen since he was not breathing well.
Rugunda explains that the second patient he identified as Mariam Awor who was diagnosed with advanced HIV/Aids had severe anemia.
He notes that she was put on oxygen but her situation was irreversible leading to her death two hours later.
Rugunda said that Zaituni Nakawuki and another patient he only identified as Walusimbi died while on oxygen. He explained that Walusimbi was referred to Mulago hospital from Kawolo Hospital after he was bitten by a cobra on head.
On Tuesday, Moses Kasibante, the Lubaga North MP tasked government to explain the death of patients at Mulago national referral hospital due to lack of oxygen.
According to Kasibante one of the nurses was overheard saying that the cylinders had run out of oxyen. But Rugunda notes that the statement by the nurse that, “oxygen aweddewo”, was a call for urgent replacement and not that the Hospital had run out of oxygen.
However, Rugunda told the House that his ministry will continue investigation to ascertain whether what is on paper corresponds with what happened on the fateful day.