The supply of medical oxygen became a serious challenge for the country at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when more and more severe COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals, especially during the second wave of the pandemic mid this year.
Dr. Wilson Etolu, the COVID-19 Focal Point Person at the hospital says that all the patients admitted at CTU are not vaccinated against the coronavirus. He explains that Soroti district/ city is currently the hotspot of the deadly virus followed by Ngora, Serere, Kumi, Amuria and Katakwi districts. Before Soroti district/city, Kumi was the hotspot of the virus.
The facility was closed last week to allow fumigation and treatment of the affected inmates and staff. According to the Resident District Commissioner of Soroti, Patrick Okumu, the decision was taken to allow the COVID-19 team and management of prison to streamline on some issues he declined to mention.
The intervention at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital is part of the timely emergency response and delivery of medicines and medical supplies to all government health facilities, according the Ministry of Health. The Hospital has been relying on vehicles for delivery of oxygen but the demand in hospital has recently overwhelmed the facility. The vehicles sometimes take two days to return with the oxygen.
Denis Echiku, a resident of Katine Sub County was arrested by the police after a tip-off from patients. Echiku has been camping at Ward 1 and extorting money from unsuspecting patients who need x-ray services.
The oxygen plant in the hospital produces only five cylinders of oxygen in two hours, a rate that falls far below the 150 cylinders a day required for the current number of patients at the COVID-19 Treatment Unit. Currently, the unit is managing 74 patients with 45 severe cases on oxygen support, while 98 others are in home-based care.
Intensive care units (ICU) provide critical care and life support for acutely ill and injured patients. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the units are used to handle severe cases of the disease, mostly persons with breathing complications due to organ failure, one of the side effects of the disease.
Muhammad Mubiru, the Principal l Administrator Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital, says 15 of those in the HDU are critically ill. "We have run out of space in our COVID-19 ward. We even had to add more beds after our surveillance team brought more patients on Wednesday. We can no longer admit more patients," Mubiru said.
Francis Elianu, the headteacher of Alem primary school in Kaberamaido district is one of the people who travelled to Soroti for COVID-19 vaccination. He says that he is the first person to get the jab from his school.
The private facilities charge between Shillings 25,000 and 50,000 for X-ray and ultra-sound scan services. At KAM Images Center, just opposite the hospital, a number of patients line up every day to access X-ray and other services. Others patients end up at Soroti Community or Joint Clinic among other renowned private facilities.
A team of medics led by Dr Joseph Epodoi, the Consultant Surgeon successfully separated conjoined twins comprising one live twin and another dead twin. The twin girls had been delivered by caesarean birth at Amuria District Hospital to Joyce Alinga, a resident of Aujongor Village, Obalanga Sub County in Kapelebyong district.
The surgery took place in Soroti, six days after the baby was referred to Mulago National Referal Hospital for tertiary care only to be referred back without help. By that time, the dead baby was decomposing and the team headed by Dr Joseph Epodoi, a senior consultant Surgeon conducted a surgery that lasted 15 hours and saved the baby who shared parts with a dead sister.
The team led by Dr. Joseph Epodoi, the Consultant Surgeon at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital successfully separated conjoined twins comprising one alive and one dead apart. The conjoined twins had been referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital but medics there declined to carry an operation citing high risks to the living twin.
The team led by Dr. Joseph Epodoi, the Consultant Surgeon, entered the theatre at 11:00am to conduct the complicated operation that lasted about five hours. The conjoined twins shared the liver and chest walls, adding that by the time of the operation, the deceased twin had already started rotting.
Dr. Joseph Epodoi, the Consultant Surgeon at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital confirmed that the living conjoined baby had stayed alive for six days and that gives them hope that they can carry a successful operation to save the life of surviving baby.
Titled, ‘My pregnancy’, the first of its kind to be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Health for circulation, the handbook contains chapters detailing what one needs to do from preconception, antenatal to postnatal care.
The idea to fundraise was conceived on Thursday during the requiem mass at Akisim Primary School, when mourners heard that the late Etilu was referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital due to constant power blackouts at Soroti hospital that affects oxygen supply to COVID-19 patients.