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Uganda Heart Institute unveils state-of-the-art ICU equipment


Uganda Heart Institute unveils state-of-the-art ICU equipment

The Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) has unveiled new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment valued at 8.7 billion shillings. This upgrade aims to reduce the necessity for referrals abroad and address the prolonged waitlists for individuals requiring surgical interventions.

Funded by the government of Hungary, this financial support has enabled the institute to expand its ICU capacity from four to twelve beds, complemented by an additional twelve High Dependency Unit Beds.

Dr. Peter Lwabi, the Deputy Director at UHI, says that the newly acquired equipment, is comprised of intelligent beds, ventilators, specialized laboratory machines, and precision syringe pumps designed for accurate medication administration in critically ill patients.

Previously constrained to three real-time surgical procedures with a three-day recovery period, the institute currently refers 15% of annual cases abroad. Dr. Lwabi adds that the enhanced capabilities of the new equipment will empower specialists to manage a higher caseload, potentially reducing the need for external referrals.

During the inauguration ceremony, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng noted the significance of the equipment, particularly in addressing the extensive waitlists for pediatric cases, such as children born with congenital heart disease, where approximately 8,000 children are in need of care.

Considering the rising prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), with heart disease accounting for a third of NCD-related deaths, there is an urgent need for improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. In Uganda, adults aged 30 to 70 face a 27% probability of succumbing to an NCD, with heart disease contributing to 9% of these cases.

With the upgraded facilities operating at full capacity, the institute anticipates a substantial increase in the annual number of surgical and interventional procedures, rising from 500 to a thousand. This expansion is expected to result in a more efficient turnaround time for cardiac care services, offering a positive impact on overall healthcare outcomes.

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