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Nawangwe Faults Gov't on Ventilator Scarcity

According to health experts, at least five percent of the persons that have moderate to severe forms of the disease end up in need of a ventilator because they cannot breathe since their lungs are immersed in the fluid.

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Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has expressed concern about the shortage of ventilators in the country. The ventilator normally helps to deal with Acute Respiratory Failure for COVID-19 patients.

According to health experts, at least five percent of the persons that have moderate to severe forms of covid-19 end up in need of a ventilator because they cannot breathe since their lungs are immersed in the fluid.

Nawangwe says that the University in June together with Kiira Motors developed Uganda's first locally made ventilator. He adds that the ventilator was later presented to the ministry of health but they never responded.

The ventilator had to undergo a series of endurance and stress tests before approval can be sought for randomized human trials from the National Drug Authority and the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology.

According to Nawangwe, the University engaged the government about its capacity to produce enough ventilators for all health facilities around the country at a reduced price, but the government seemed not concerned.

He indicates that the government should give the University one billion to produce ventilators because of the high demand by the local health facilities.

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The Deputy Executive Director Mulago Referral hospital Dr Rose Mary Byanyima, says that the demand for the ventilators is high due to increased cases of COVID- 19.

Byanyima states that regional referral hospitals cannot handle COVID- 19 leaving them with overwhelming numbers to manage as they only have the capacity of 27 ICU beds.   

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Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson noted that government has managed to procure Ventilators to address the growing demand.

He insists that the government is aware of the increasing demand for the ventilators to help in easing the pressure on hospitals caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

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A ventilator on an open market can be bought at 85 million shillings and an average ventilator machine can be got at 45 million shillings from the local importers.

       

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