25 September 2017

Uganda: Kayunga Hospital Renovation Delays

Kayunga — Anger is building up in both medical workers and patients seeking treatment at Kayunga Hospital over a delay by the government to renovate the health facility.

Renovation of the hospital was expected to commence early this year after government revealed that it had secured Shs70b.

However, when this reporter visited health facility last Friday, no renovations were being carried out.

According to Dr Jonhie Mulwana, the acting hospital medical superintendent, the project was supposed to cover rehabilitation of existing wards, theatre, out-patient department, and administration block.

Also to be expanded was the out-patient department that was designed to have a new emergency unit, new wards, staff houses, auxiliary facilities such as kitchen, laundry, water supply and sewage system.

"We don't really know what happened to the project. The entire complex is in dire need of renovation and our staff are operating in very poor environment," he said.

Currently, the hospital roof leaks, part of the ceiling is worn out while the water and sewerage system are not functional.

The Kayunga District chief administrative officer, Mr Ezaruku Kazimiro, said last Friday that he was surprised that construction works had not commenced yet.

"Early this year, I personally notified medical workers who own some gardens around to harvest their crops, hoping that construction works would commence soon, but I am surprised that the contraction has not taken place," he said.

Mr Kazimiro, however, promised to seek an explanation from the Ministry of Health about the issue.

When construction works begin, Mr Kazimiro said the services that were being offered at the hospital would in the meantime be transferred to Kangulumira and Ntenjeru health centre IVs.

"Medical staff would also be transferred to the two health facilities. This would inconvenience both patients and medical staff but it is inevitable," he added.

A medical worker, who preferred not to be named to speak freely for expressed dismay over the delayed renovation, saying in its current state, the facility is not fit to be called a hospital.

Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, blamed the delay on the lengthy and bureaucratic nature of government processes which usually take longer than expected.

"We have already secured the funds for the project, but you know the processes we have to follow, but any time work will start," she said by telephone last Friday.

She said she was aware of the pathetic state of the hospital but called for patience from staff, patients and leaders.

Officially opened in 1973, the 42-year-old hospital has never been renovated. Broken and rusted beds, stained mattresses and a caving ceiling is what welcome you as you enter the hospital main wards.

Officials at the hospital say the water system broke down years ago, forcing them to close the toilets.

The hospital has 100 beds but according to statistics, it handles about 150 cases every day. It also serves patients from neigbouring districts of Buikwe, Luweero, Kamuli, Nakasongola, Buikwe, Apac and Mukono.

Many of the health facilities in the countryside, which were constructed before and after independence, are currently in an appalling state but government recently embarked on a programme to give them a facelift and nine of them have so far been renovated and re-equipped. These include Moroto, Nebbi, Entebbe, Anaka, Kiryandongo, Nakaseka, Iganga, Moyo and Mityana

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