Gov't Airlifts 53 Gas Cylinders to Soroti Hospital

The intervention at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital is part of the timely emergency response and delivery of medicines and medical supplies to all government health facilities, according the Ministry of Health. The Hospital has been relying on vehicles for delivery of oxygen but the demand in hospital has recently overwhelmed the facility. The vehicles sometimes take two days to return with the oxygen.
Gas Cylinders being evacuated from the helicopter.
The government has airlifted 53 gas cylinders to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital following an increase in the demand for oxygen for COVID-19 patients.

The Hospital has been relying on vehicles for the delivery of oxygen but they sometimes took two days to return yet, the demand had become overwhelming. Dr Wilson Etolu, the COVID-19 Focal Point Person in Teso Sub Region says that the Treatment Unit in Soroti receives on average 10 patients per day from the different districts in Teso. At the moment, there are 65 admitted patients, with 45 of them on oxygen support.

He explains that the Teso region is currently an epicentre for COVID-19. So far, Soroti COVID-19 Treatment Unit has managed more than 2,000 cumulative patients and lost 105 lives. Dr Etolu says that most of the patients received at the treatment centre arrived late, making it difficult to save them.

“Most of our patients are the elderly and they are brought to the hospital at the point of death. Then another day, we evacuated an elderly patient from Amuria district but she died on arrival to the hospital”, he said, adding that they had a dire need for emergency supplies including oxygen which was delivered last evening,  and received by medics at Soroti Flying School.

Dr Etolu adds that the Ministry of Health is in the process of opening an emergency operation centre in Soroti that will coordinate the COVID-19 response in the region. “We received specialists from the Ministry to help in the management of COVID-19 and two of them will be retained in Soroti”, he said.

According to the Ministry of Health daily updates for COVID-19 cases from August 1 to September 7, Soroti district/City has recorded 195 cases, followed by Kumi district with 165, Serere 109 and Kalaki 99 cases. The other districts in the region have recorded less than 50 cases during the same period. However, the districts of Kumi, Serere and Katakwi have received the highest infections in the last week.