The UPDF engineering brigade has handed over a newly constructed intensive care unit (ICU) ward to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. The unit which cost 800 Million Shillings was constructed over the last 18 months.

The ICU ward was fitted with 10 ICU beds and six other high-dependency units to ensure easy management of patients in need of critical healthcare.

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Director Alfred Yayi says that they formerly had six beds, which were serving as both intensive care units and high dependency units. He says that the new unit will serve the needs of patients within the region.

Yayi notes that the hospital registers an average of 20 patients requiring ICU services every month and often, these have been referred to other hospitals. He explains that the new unit will give them the necessary capacity to handle the current needs.

He notes most of the cases requiring ICU services result from largely severe acute respiratory distress, severe asthma, organ poisoning, post-surgical, accidents, and post-eclampsia, among others. Yayi, however, challenged the Ministry of Health to boost them with more specialized staff required to handle patients in the ICU.

“The ICU requires a minimum of 20 staff to enable us to fully realize the reason for its establishment. However, we currently have nine staff and we are calling upon the Ministry of Health to prioritize recruitment of the required staff to service the demands of patients requiring critical healthcare across the Busoga region and beyond,” he says.

He further wants all the Jinja Hospital staff to be trained in critical healthcare, which will increase the workforce of health workers with the skills to handle patients in dire need of such services within the ICU. 

Rony Bahatungire, the acting commissioner in charge of clinical services says that the Ministry of Health is committed to improving the staff structures of critical healthcare givers across the country as a means of enabling timely access to holistic health services within their jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, UPDF’s Col. Godfrey Tukamwakira, the ICU project manager says that they suffered delays in delivering the project due to its sensitivity and urge to make the right installations as a means of ensuring the safety of both patients and healthcare givers alike.

“It has been our first time to construct an ICU, which required us to work in constant consultation with the healthcare givers to get things right and this largely slowed down the project handover, but with this experience, we currently can construct related infrastructure anywhere,” he says.

Tukamwakira boasts of the brigade’s 4000 staff capacity, which can enable them to handle several projects, concurrently without any distress or delays. He adds that they were assigned 284 government projects at 340 Billion Shillings across the country, with so far 155 fully complete and handed over for use, whereas, the rest are nearing completion.

Tukamwakira adds that they recently acquired a supplementary budget of 19 Billion Shillings, which they used to purchase regional construction equipment and they can easily execute construction works in every part of the country, uninterrupted.


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