By Markson Omagor
Soroti Covid-19 isolation center is surely losing the Covid-19 battle with many patients on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) dying.
This website has learnt that the high rate of Covid-19 fatalities is due to power outages made worse by lack of a standby generator.
Patients on oxygen therefore end up dying when power goes off.
Lack of a standby generator at the Soroti Covid-19 isolation center came to light after the passing on of Teso’s illustrious businessman and owner of Teso Coaches, Faustine Etilu.
Speaking to this website this afternoon, Dr. Wilson Etolu, the Focal Point Person for Covid 19 in Teso Sub region at Soroti Hospital revealed that at the time of the demise of late Etilu, the generator was not connected to the oxygen plant.
“At that time, our biggest challenge was that the standby generator was not connected to the oxygen plant. However, the generator is being worked on and will soon be connected to the oxygen plant,” he said.
However, even with the repair of the standby generator in advanced stages, lack of an automatic changeover switch will remain a real challenge since power outages are common in Soroti.
An automatic changeover switch enables a standby generator to automatically switch on when power goes off.
Dr. Etolu also revealed that Soroti Covid 19 isolation center has no ICU equipment. As a result all patients that progress to Intensive Care are referred to Mulago.
“We were expecting ICU equipment this week but since it is already Friday, it means we shall get the equipment next week,” he said.
Mourners for the late Teso Coach proprietor, then launched a fundraising drive to save COVID-19 patients at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital. The campaign is meant to raise funds for the repair and connection of a standby generator to the oxygen plant at the hospital to ensure steady supply.
The idea to fundraise was conceived during the requiem mass at Akisim primary school, when mourners heard that the late Etilu was referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital due to constant power blackouts at Soroti hospital that affects oxygen supply to COVID-19 patients.
The report from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital indicates that the COVID-19 unit has difficulties managing patients on oxygen because of unstable power supply. The hospital has been running to Moroto and Mbale Regional Referral Hospitals for oxygen supply. The standby generator in the hospital is faulty and can’t power the oxygen plant.
Dr. Wilson Etolu, the focal point person for COVID-19 at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital says they have had challenges in managing patients on oxygen due to unstable electricity supply. He explains that after studying Etilu’s condition, they resolved to have him transferred to the national referral hospital with hopes of saving his life. Dr. Etolu said that the resolution to transfer Etilu to Mulago was based on unreliable electricity supply in Soroti.
Yesterday, wife to Dr. George William Engulu also passed on in Mulago as her situation could not be handled in Soroti.
In an earlier communication, Dr. Etolu said that currently most treatment centers including Soroti are under pressure for space and yet the number of Corona patients keeps escalating.