By Mary Poni
Nurses at Juba Teaching Hospital are calling for prompt fitting of oxygen machines that have been donated in order to save lives.
According to one of the nurses, Julia Alexander, the equipment is available but they are not yet fixed, and yet they are seriously in need of it for conducting lifesaving activities.
Julia said there were five cylinders brought to the health center. Three have oxygen but the other two do not have any.
“The hospital has acquired at least five oxygen appliances to cater for patients needing life-support; especially the premature babies, but they have not yet been fixed for use,” she said.
“We still feel that they are not enough to facilitate the patients in the main hospital especially in the baby care wards. Even sometimes they (patients) would be many to the extent that they share beds,” Julia Alexander told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.
The nurse wishes that if there were possibilities of equipping the hospital with more life-support system, it would be great because sometimes patients die due to inadequate facilities – which have been a worrying concern.
Her colleague, an associate clinician at the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Lucky Gloria, underlined that the hospital facilities are still incapable of caring for premature babies due to inadequate oxygen concentrators.
She stated that there are no enough oxygen cylinders and concentrators at the hospital to accommodate many of the babies. She however, appreciates some of the responses to their demands.
She explained that JTH is the only facility where all the premature babies from various hospitals and clinics are referred to.
“You find maybe two children are sharing the same oxygen. When you see the other doing a little bit well, you shift it to the next baby,” Gloria explained
Conversely, the undersecretary in the national ministry of health Dr. Victoria Anib, said there is now plenty of oxygen.
In an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, she also revealed that the ministry of health has oxygen production plant procured sometimes back with the support of the African Development Bank (ADB), and that it is up and running.
“We don’t have any problem with oxygen in the country. Unless other issues, but if it is the issue of the oxygen, we don’t have problems anymore,” she said.
“It was few years back that we had difficulties, but now we have the oxygen production plan which is able to produce oxygen locally and we don’t have to buy oxygen again from the neighboring countries,” Dr. Anib underscored.
The undersecretary however, acknowledged concerns about space because the nursery at the Juba Teaching Hospital is not as big as expected in such a hospital.
She further stressed that the issue of power, human resource and motivation of staff are the hindering challenges existing in the hospital.