A pneumonia outbreak in Sanyu Babies Home has put all the care takers on tension after it claimed two babies, five months old Mercy and Elijah, four months old.
The outbreak, according to the caretakers and nurses at the home, erupted two weeks ago, with what had been mistaken for flu and cough among most of the babies. "But then we started to notice that the sick children were beginning to vomit, have high temperatures and some even get short of breath," reports Ms Barbra Mutagubya, the Home administrator adding, "Most of the babies' tongues whom we thought had flu or cough even started to turn bluish, and others black."
It was then that the very sick of the babies, who were six at the time, were rushed to the nearby Mengo hospital, only to be diagnosed with pneumonia. Mutagubya says that majority of the babies were immediately admitted at the hospital due to respiratory problems and were put on respiratory support.
"Unfortunately the two died after two days in hospital because Mercy was already suffering with holes on her lungs and Elijah was suffering from tuberculosis," says the administrator. By last week, only one of the admitted children had been discharged; the rest remain in hospital.
Financial support needed for pneumonia vaccination
Although the situation had slowly returned to normal towards the end of last week, all the children and caretakers were being given pneumonia vaccines as a precautionary measure.
Mutagubya however explains that to confirm the safety of the little ones, each baby has to receive the vaccination three times. "Each child needs Shs70,000 for each vaccination, meaning we still need over Shs10m, which we can't afford without external support," she says.
Well-wishers have already responded to the home's call offering some support but more is still needed.