Opinion: The media reported yesterday that seven babies died in a day on Saturday in Kawempe referral hospital due to power crisis which un fortunate.
It is noted that on the fateful day, Kawempe hospital experienced a power blackout for close to an hour without alternative power supply being provided.
It is noted that in January 2021,the media reported that more than one hundred fifty (150) people died in Jinja hospital in the last six month due to unstable power supply and load shedding.
In addition to that, in January12, 2023, 15 babies died in Mulago national referral hospital after the electricity had blacked out, In March 20,2022 three babies died at Bwera hospital due to power blackout. This comes as the country continues to suffer inadequate power supply
It is noted that Uganda’s neonatal mortality has stagnated 27 deaths per 1,000 live births over the past decade, risks missing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for reducing neonatal deaths and out 27 neonatal mortality rate, some babies death are caused by power outages.
Power outages have indirectly impacted on babies by affecting the availability of essential medical equipment causing disruptions in healthcare services and leading to adverse conditions such as inadequate lighting, temperature control and life support systems in hospitals
The government should provide power grid supply connections from multiple renewable energy sources like solar energy, wind turbines in hospitals as the alternative in case there is a power blackout to save lives of people.
The provision of solar will improve access to affordable and reliable electricity. Policies that seek to improve access to reliable electricity should be implemented well to save lives of people.
The government should establish regular audits and inspections of healthcare facilities to ensure that they comply with safety regulations including backup power requirements like solar energy for emergencies.
Non-compliant hospitals should be identified and appropriate actions should be taken to rectify the situation.
Healthcare professionals should receive specialized training of managing power outages emergency situations with energy alternatives like solar energy which is on 24hrs and does not include the monthly bills. Public awareness campaigns about solar energy which is off grid should be carried out too in order to save live people.
The author is Olive Atuhaire, a concerned citizen
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