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Jinja ICU Dysfunctional Due to Lack of Batteries

Aisha Lubega Aligawesa, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Nursing at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, says the unit has been dysfunctional for two years due to lack of batteries to power the solar unit that serves the ICU.
Patients outside wards at Jinja regional referral hospital
The Intensive Care Unit-ICU at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital is dysfunctional due to lack of solar batteries to power the unit.

Aisha Lubega Aligawesa, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Nursing at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, says the unit has been dysfunctional for two years due to lack of batteries to power the solar unit that serves the ICU.

"Our ICU is solely dependent on solar power which is more reliable. The Umeme power is expensive and so intermittent that it could lead to loss of lives,” she explained.  

According to Aligawesa, they currently refer patients in need of intensive care to Mulago Hospital.

“Whenever such cases are rushed here we fail to admit. The option is referral to Mulago National Referral Hospital,” She said.  

The Director Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Dr. Edward Nkurunziza has confirmed the state of affairs, saying their ICU has become a white elephant.

“The manpower is available to take care of such patients. Unfortunately, our hands are tied due to lack of batteries,” he said.

Dr. Diogo Nabangi, the Jinja District Health Officer, says the Health Ministry is fully aware about the incapacitation of the regional ICU facility.

“Our hope is that an alternative is put in place as fast as possible. Some lives are being lost between Jinja and Mulago National Referral Hospital because of just batteries,” he said.

Eight batteries valued at Shillings 800,000 each are needed.