Fact-Check: Has United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) run out of medical oxygen?

Claim: A news article by the Chronicle which was published on Friday January 22 under the headline “UBH runs out of oxygen” claims the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has low supplies of oxygen amid the Covid19 pandemic.


Verdict: True

In the article acting UBH chief executive officer Dr Narcisius Dzvanga, said the old Bartley Memorial Block (BMB), the designated Covid-19 treatment centre had short supplies of oxygen due to their supplier BOC gases having electrity problems.

“Our major crisis at the moment is oxygen and our main supplier BOC is having Zesa problems as well. We have a bulk tank which can take 10 000kg but they came on Saturday and gave us 4 000kg which is already finished,” he said.

CITE spoke to the hospital staff who confirmed that the BMB has low supplies of oxygen at the moment.

“There has not been oxygen supplies for the past few days because Zesa cut off power for BOC. This is affecting the function of the BMB as patients are admitted on a daily basis,” said one doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Once BOC gases clears off the debt it owes Zesa then the hospital will have no problem of oxygen supply.”

Since its opening, the BMB has had a total of 142 patients admitted and of those 40 died and 102 were discharged.

Bulawayo has 465 active cases and 165 deaths.

As of January 23, the Ministry of Health and Child Care recorded 31 007 confirmed covid 19 cases, 21 377 recoveries and 974 deaths.

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