As the country grapples with an escalating Covid019 situation, the Joint Medical Stores together with Gradian Health Systems have donated 85 robust oxygen regulators and 8000 N95 face masks to the Ministry of Health.
The robust oxygen regulators cost $30,000(shs106 million) whereas the N95 masks are worth $40,000(shs141million).
According to Dr. Bildard Baguma , the Joint Medical Stores Executive Director, the donation will help optimize the functionalization of the newly established Intensive Care Units(ICUs) in the 17 Regional Referral Hospitals in the country.
“In July 2019, the Ministry of Health upgraded 17 Regional Referral Hospitals to establish intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the country. Ministry of Health invested in equipment, including 109 Gradian Health Systems Critical Care Ventilators (CCVs) supplied by Joint Medical Store (JMS). However, for the Critical Care Ventilators to be fully utilized, they required oxygen regulators to connect the ventilators to the high flow oxygen therapy apparatus. It is against this background that we are making this donation,”Baguma said.
He said that unlike the conventional oxygen regulators which connect to only one ventilator, the donated regulators can support up to three ventilators with two of them on high flow oxygen therapy and one on low-flow oxygen therapy.
“The donation is in addition to a national capacity building program worth $163,500 conducted free of charge. In the program, Gradian Health Systems and JMS partnered with the association of anaesthesiologists to train 600 critical care providers from all the 17 Regional Referral Hospitals.”
According to the JMS Executive Director, the critical care providers were trained in patient assessment, mechanical ventilation, oxygen therapy, airway management, patient monitoring and nursing bedside care.
“We believe the donation will holistically boost the national efforts aimed at fighting COVID-19 infections and also protect the front line workers against the pandemic.”
He however, reminded the public that prevention is cheaper and better than curing the pandemic.
“As such, the public is cautioned to observe the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures to avoid straining the health sector,” he said.