Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has launched an emergency drive to mobilise its members to lend gas cylinders to health facilities.
The apex body of private business organizations and professional associations says this is aimed at supplementing Government efforts to treat the critically ill who are currently in hospitals.
PSFU says it will collect and give the cylinders to health facilities that will be approved by the Ministry of Health.
In partnership with the Uganda Healthcare Federation and the Joint Medical Stores, they have identified the types of cylinders that can be used for clinical supply of oxygen.
More than 200 covid-19 patients have died in the last one month, with many deaths attributed directly to shortage of oxygen.
During his address on Friday, President Museveni noted that the severely and critically ill COVID-19 patients have more than doubled, straining the available oxygen supply.
Current national daily oxygen consumption stands at 3,000 cylinders per day, where each cylinder has an average 6,800 litres capacity, according to reports at the Ministry of Health.
“The current oxygen challenge we are facing as a country is the availability of empty cylinders for distribution,” says Dr Elly Karuhanga, Chairman of PSFU.
“As we speak today the country’s medical facilities don’t have sufficient oxygen to help the big number of COVID-19 patients.”
“What is missing are the Cylinders into which the manufactured oxygen is packed and administered to patients,” Karuhanga added.
“Our country has capacity to produce sufficient oxygen . Let’s support Government with empty cylinders, and save lives of our fellow Ugandans.”
“The cylinders we’re looking for include the large size of volume 6.8cbm/45L, medium size or 3.6cbm/24L, and the small ones of 1.36cbm/9L,” said Mr Karuhanga.
He added that those with the portable oxygen cylinders and cylinder trolleys should take them to the PSFU head offices: “Those interested please deliver the cylinders clearly labelled with identification marks starting Monday 21st June 2021 between 9.00am and 4.00pm to PSFU offices”.
PSFU will pass the equipment over to health facilities, and pledged to return them once the crisis ebbs. URN