9 November 2012

Uganda: Umeme Disconnects Power to KCCA Health Centre

Kiswa Health Centre III, a newly renovated health unit in Bugolobi, Kampala, has gone without power for six days, affecting delivery of key health services at the facility.

By yesterday, power had not yet been restored at the facility which attends to at least 600 patients from surrounding city suburbs every day.

The facility is managed by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

A medical officer who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press blamed the delay to restore power on bureaucratic procedures at the KCCA head offices.

"Our bosses submitted requests to KCCA, but the process of clearance through the procurement disposal unit takes long," the officer said.

Sources said although the health centre requires a minimum of sh1m for power every month, only sh150,000 was provided by the KCCA.

When contacted yesterday, a nurse in charge of the health centre, Diana Baryayebwa, declined to comment on the matter and referred New Vision to KCCA.

KCCA's acting spokesperson, Robert Kalumba, said: "The facility is still under renovation. It has not been officially opened and it is not yet fully functional."

Kiswa was established in the 1960s by the defunct Kampala City Council (KCC) and taken over by the health ministry in 2002. However, the facility was run down over the years.

The centre was recently refurbished with aid from the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and meant to be commissioned this week. The exercise has since been postponed.

The newly renovated facility features an expanded pharmacy, waiting area, out-patient services and fitting furniture.

A shed has been constructed at the entrance, where outpatients can sit as they wait for nurses to attend to them.

Other furnishings include creation of more consultation rooms for patients seeking antiretroviral treatment construction of stores for non-medical supplies and a face-lift on the laboratory.

The facility has also been fitted with electronic equipment to monitor the delivery of services and conduct of health officials using the Internet.

The health centre will be electronically linked to KCCA and the Ministry of Health databases.

At least 3,000 HIV-positive patients depend on the health centre for antiretroviral drugs every year.

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