The United States through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a contribution of $3.5 million (Shs.12.4 billion) to Uganda to boost the country’s Covid-19 response with medical oxygen and other supplies.
This was confirmed by U.S Mission Uganda via their verified Twitter account.
“Medical oxygen is an essential, life-saving treatment for COVID-19 patients. To make sure that oxygen saves Ugandan lives, the United States through USAID just contributed $3.5M (UGX 12.4B) for oxygen & other supplies. The U.S is committed to supporting Uganda’s COVID response.” U.S Mission Uganda tweeted.
The contribution comes at a critical time, as Uganda grapples with the second wave of the deadly Coronavirus, a situation that has escalated due to shortage of oxygen supplies needed by critical patients in Intensive Care Units to survive.
According to health experts, a critical Covid-19 patient requires between 3-5 oxygen cylinders. However, due to the aggressive surge in critical Covid-19 patients, health facilities have struggled to meet the increased demand.
During his national address on 18th June, President Yoweri Museveni noted that the national daily oxygen consumption stood at 3,000 cylinders per day, where each cylinder is 6,800 liters.
The president warned that the demand of the life saving gas would increase nearly 9- fold for the forthcoming weeks unless Ugandans followed the Standard Operating Procedures as put in place by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread.
“With the estimated Covid-19 patient increase in the coming weeks, the daily oxygen consumption will rise to 25,800 cylinders per day in one month, unless we change the course.” Museveni warned.
The president, recently announced plans to start refilling 25,000 oxygen cylinders daily to meet the rising demand. He said regional and national referral hospitals would refill the cylinders through installed oxygen plants countrywide to help meet the oxygen demand.
Meanwhile, Uganda, on 15th July 2021, confirmed 460 new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total cumulative cases to 89,974 while the death toll rose to 2,324 after the country registered 38 new deaths.
Most of the country’s Coronavirus deaths have been attributed to shortages of oxygen in most of the hospitals.