MPs on the Health Committee have concluded a week-long oversight visit to health facilities in eastern Uganda, where health workers there have pleaded with lawmakers to expeditiously address the challenge of dilapidated facilities.
The health workers say that service delivery has been greatly affected by condemned wards and staff houses, as well as shortage of supplies and equipment.
The District Health Officer (DHO) Buyende district, Dr Fredrick Isabirye told MPs who concluded a fact finding visit recently that some staff are sharing accommodation.
“This situation is serious since some medical staff are married with children. Buyende district has the highest average number of children at an average of nine children per mother,” Dr Isabirye said.
At the Busembatia Health Centre II, Bugweri district, the Assistant Nursing Officer, Esther Asaba said that the wards are all condemned by the Ministry of Health, forcing the workers to operate in make shift spaces.
“We cannot renovate these wards. At times we operate under tents setup in the compound,” said Asaba.
Meanwhile, in Bugembe Health Centre IV, Jinja district, the DHO, Dr Stephen Banonya asked MPs to fast track the establishment of a blood bank in Jinja, noting that the district depends on Kampala.
We have many accidents on the Kampala-Jinja Road, the increase in malaria cases and many expectant mothers, all these require a blood bank to help save lives,” said Dr Banonya.
Whilst Busolwe General Hospital in Butaleja district has been earmarked for renovation, the facility operates without piped water, lack of an X-ray machine and no blood bank, according to the hospital’s board member, Isaac Hasalaya.
“This hospital is to undergo an overhaul very soon, and after this, all missing medical equipment will be installed,” Hasalaya added.
Butaleja District Woman MP, Hon. Florence Nebanda pledged to closely monitor the construction works, to ensure value for money.
Nebanda said that together with her Bunyole West Counterpart, Hon. Geofrey Mutiwa, they witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the hospital management and the contractor.
Hon. Mutiwa also raised concern over the increasing malaria cases in the district, saying that the rate at which children are dying is worrying.
The DHO Butaleja, Dr Siraje Kizito, confirmed an outbreak of Malaria which he said is mostly affecting children and expectant mothers.
Committee chairperson, Dr Charles Ayume urged the health workers to emphasise the message of prevention to avert the malaria deaths.
“Whenever mosquito nets are distributed, these need to be put to good use,” Dr Ayume added.
Some of the health facilities visited by the MPs between 30 May and 02 June 2022 included; Kibuku Health Centre IV, Busia Health Centre IV and Lumino Health Centre III in Busia. Others were; Mulanda Health Centre IV, Nagongera Health Centre IV and Tororo General Hospital among others.
The MPs visited the health facilities to assess the status of service delivery to the local communities.