With the surge in COVID-19 cases in Uganda, the demand for oxygen supply has soared in hospitals across the country. Several hospitals especially those that are privately owned have decided to hike the price of oxygen to as high as Shs5 million per day.
Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary at the ministry of health, told the media that there was a high demand for oxygen due to a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients in High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units (ICU) nationwide.
To address the issue of oxygen shortage, the ministry plans to import medical liquid oxygen from Kenya. The liquid oxygen will be evaporated at Mulago Hospital where government is installing a new oxygen plant. This will act as supplementary to the already existing plant.
The ministry has also called on individuals holding cylinders at home, those idle in health facilities and other institutions to release them as requirement for oxygen is critical, to allow for refill. It is estimated that more than 20,000 cylinders are lying idle in various hands in the country.