Mulago National Referral Hospital needs a special budget to feed COVID-19 positive patients.
This was revealed by hospital officials led by the Hospital Executive Director Dr Baterana Byarugaba. The officials had appeared before the Committee on Tuesday to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor-General in the financial year 2018/2019 report.
Asked by Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja about the preparedness of the hospital to handle the increasing number of Covid-19 patients, Dr Baterana said that they have a 900-bed capacity and 280 Covid-19 patients under treatment.
Although he did not reveal how much is required, Baterana noted that the hospital lacks funds to purchase food. He added that the facility did not receive a specific budget for management of Covid-19 patients.
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Dr Baterana explained to MPs that Covid-19 patients require much food and drinks compared to other patients.
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The Hospital Director also noted that the health workers treating COVID-19 patients are supposed to be accommodated and fed at the facility, which requires additional food.
“They also demand meals. If you have 200 health workers and you are giving them breakfast, lunch, evening tea and supper you face it and you are doing the same to about now 280 patients because they want to eat very well,” said Dr Baterana.
He also noted that the hospital requires funds to purchase cups, plates and utensils. He explains that the utensils are disposed of after every meal.
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The Committee Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi also questioned the relationship between the hospital and the National Covid-19 task force and why no money has been availed to the facility. Baterana says that the allowances for the health workers are sometimes donated by the public. He also told MPs that the hospital received items which include food and mattresses from well-wishers.
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Nandala asked the hospital officials to draft the budget which will be presented to Parliament for consideration. Uganda has so far registered 2,362 Covid-19 positive cases and out of these, 1,248 have recovered while 22 people have died.