Underequipped Mukono General Hospital Eye Clinic Chocking with High Numbers

Mukono General Hospital Eye Clinic officer-in-charge, Christine Namajja has decried lack of essential equipment in the unit despite rising number of clients turning up for services.

The entire eye clinic has only one eye test chart and an arch light device. Namajja says she uses the tools to examine and test almost everyone yet they have different eye conditions.

She notes that before the elevation of the facility from health center IV to a general hospital in 2019, the facility could receive on average 30 clients but now numbers increased to 200 on a monthly basis. About 20 percent are referred to Kampala and Jinja for specialized attention every month. 

Namajja says the hospital needs basic, essential equipment such as a slit lamp used for examining the interior part of the eye, a tonometer for determining the intraocular pressure (fluid pressure inside the eye), an ophthalmoscope used in the inspection of the retina, reflection, and lid rotation sets and loops used in eye surgery.

Namajja’s cries come a few days to world sight day celebrated every second Thursday of October to raise awareness about blindness, vision impairment and providing eye health care.

URN has established that so far, Mukono has only two government eye health workers at the level of clinical officers in the district facilities.One is the in-charge for Mukono general hospital and another one is stationed at Kojja HCIV located at Ntenjeru-Kisoga Town Council.

A resident at Nakisunga sub-County, Badiru Tebandeke 72, reveals skipping recommended checkup at Mulago National Referral Hospital due to lack of transport. Tebendeke is supposed to go for a checkup every after two months.

Nonetheless, some private health facilities such as Herona hospital have partnered with the government to offer eye clinic outreaches so as to extend free services to eye patients.

Ronald Ssekitto, an administrator at Herona hospital who works with eye surgeons from Jinja Regional Referral Hospital-JRRH to extend services to people of Mukono in every first week of the month, says but every time outreaches are conducted, they are overwhelmed by the big numbers of patients.  

Dr. Suzan Kikira from JRRH who heads the eye clinic outreaches at Mukono district says many patients turn up after damaging their eyes with herbicides.

She notes that many of them claim opting for herbal medicines after failing to receive services from government facilities and at the same time lack funds to seek for services from private facilities.

So far majority of residents from Mukono district turning up for eye services in both private and government facilities mostly suffer from conditions and diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, chalazion, near sightedness, conjunctivitis which involves viral infections and allergic reactions.

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