The Alliance for National Transformation(ANT) party headed by Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu has said there is no excuse for government’s failure to invest in the country’s health system.
In a statement released on Saturday, ANT said the excuse that even the most advanced economies in the world have been ravaged by the deadly pandemic is lame.
“We hear about shortages of beds and oxygen among other things. It is distressing to hear that the government of Uganda can ask for all manner of supplementary funding and unsustainable loans but cannot ask for money to put up oxygen plants in our country,” ANT said in a statement.
“The argument being peddled is that Covid has challenged countries that have advanced health care facilities. So what? This cannot be excuse for not equipping our own health facilities.”
The Alliance for National Transformation said government should leave excuses behind and fix the health system of the country to save the dire situation.
“The situation in our health facilities continues to be of grave concern even before the outbreak of the pandemic. Our appeal to government is to fix the beds, ICUs and the entire health system in the country.”
The development comes on the backdrop of comments by President Museveni on Friday in which he said the pandemic has not only affected Uganda’s health system but the entire world.
“Prevent infections so that few are infected and because they are few, you are able to look after them. I saw one clown who calls himself a politician talking about the weak health system. The United States has lost 600,000 people to COVID-19,” Museveni said.
“The strategy is to prevent these infections so that we have few infected people if at all. The situation can be managed by minimizing the number of infections and give urgent care for the severely ill.”
The president said the current trend of the virus has seen infections increase by 17 folds and hence the need to be curtailed.
“Over the past three weeks, the daily number of people testing positive for Corona has increased from less than 100 to now over 1,700. This represents a 17 fold increase in daily cases. As a result, our epidemic curve is now on steep rise with increased reports of deaths nationwide,” he said.
On the issue of oxygen, the president said the problem has been exacerbated by lack of enough cylinders to hold the life-saving gas.
“An average non-COVID-19 critical patient consumes one to two oxygen cylinders per day, however, a severely ill Covid-19 patient needs four to six cylinders per day. The current oxygen challenge we are facing is the availability of empty cylinders for distribution. Of course, if cases keep expanding, it can also outstrip our production capacity,” Museveni said.
According to the president, the current national daily oxygen consumption stands at 3,000 cylinders per day, where each cylinder is 6,800 liters, adding that it will soon go up.
“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. This is nearly a 9 -fold increase in the overall national oxygen requirement.”
He however noted that this trend of affairs can be reversed if people adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures put in place