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Path Uganda Launches Oxygen Strategy To Address Shortages

Path Uganda in partnership with Ministry of Health have  launched a national strategy to scale up medical oxygen supply in health centres.

In Uganda there is acute shortage of oxygen in referral hospitals.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of health Dr. Diana Atwine while presiding over the ceremony cautioned partners to support government to realize the ambitious strategy.

She said in Uganda illnesses easily treatable with oxygen therapy take the lives of thousands of new borns, children and adults each year.

She however says Oxygen therapy is required to treat dangerous condition called hypoxemia which is severe shortage of oxygen in  the blood.

Path Uganda country director Emmanuel Mugisha  says providing linkages at national, regional and district level is critical first step to increasing access to oxygen through out Uganda however in order to make oxygen accessible government must prioritize funding for implementation of oxygen delivery systems.

“Delivering oxygen  in every health facility is cost effective as it can help manage hypoxemia a cross various medical condition,”Mugisha said.

But director health services ministry of health Dr. Charles Olaro says establishing and maintaining the system is estimated to cost 20.5billion annually.

He notes that Uganda has approximately 24,000 beds and all should have functioning oxygen supply.

Currently there majority of public and  private facilities in Uganda lack sufficient availability of oxygen. The last Uganda services availability and readiness assessment showed that only 36% of facilities offering services for chronic respiratory diseases had oxygen.

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