JINJA: The Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces-UPDF Engineering Brigade has started renovating the intensive care unit at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital-JRRH. One of the engineers told URN, on condition of anonymity so as to speak freely on the matter since he is not the official spokesperson of the team, that renovation work will take six months.
He explained that the work will include the expansion of the ICU building, refurbishment of the interior, reroofing, and painting. “What we are doing here is basically a comprehensive renovation of the whole ICU building, fitting it with the required amenities needed to ensure smooth operability of health workers and the general wellbeing of patients admitted to the ward,” he said.
Angela Namala, the acting Director of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, who declined to reveal the cost of the entire renovation work, told URN on Sunday that the ICU ward needed a facelift and the repair of some of the interior fittings. Namala says that four ICU beds have been relocated to the eye ward, where severe patient cases will be handled at the hospital.
Routinely, severe cases admitted within the ICU were very few, but with the pandemic, the cases increased to about three on a daily basis, prompting the Ministry of Health to equip us with more ICU beds in order to meet the overwhelming demand at the time. We have now set up about four ICU beds to accommodate severe cases, whereas the other 11 beds will be properly stored, awaiting the full reopening of the ICU ward, “she said.
She, however, says that they still lack the required intensivists mandated to ensure the standard operationalization of the ICU. The scarcity of such experts in the country, combined with the availability of lucrative jobs for them in the Kampala area, has made it difficult for us to attract them here, she explained.
An intensivist is a physician who specializes in the care and treatment of patients in intensive care. According to Namale, a few of their staff were trained by senior intensivists during the intense COVID-19 management period. “The skills acquired can ably meet our patient demands, as we await the recruitment of expatriates in this field,” she said.