Buwenge health unit uses cotton wool as incubators
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:45
Staff at the facility use charcoal stoves to sterilize delivery equipment.
The saying that ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ is one that medical workers at Buwenge Health Centre IV are heeding.
Lack of incubators has seen the health facility resort to using cotton wool to keep premature babies warm.
The practice, has, however, seen expectant mothers shun the health centre.
The facility also lacks running water, inadequate delivery beds and has a leaking maternity ward roof.
The unit has one enrolled midwife who works during the day on an average of three to five mothers deliver daily and about the same number in the night.
The midwives also use charcoal stoves to sterilise medical equipment.
Ms Sarah Kyasike, the nurse in-charge of the maternity ward, said due to poor maternal health services in the unit, her staff cannot assess and manage mothers with complications.
She said they cannot handle cases like obstructed labour, ectopic pregnancies or other cases of complicated labour.
“We try our best, but sometimes we run out of drugs and patients have to buy them yet the facility is also small compared to the catchment area,” Kyasike said.
She added: “There is no room for new-born babies to be kept. Often, we wrap pre-mature babies in cotton wool and refer them to Jinja Hospital.”
The health centre has five midwives and one nursing assistant who have to be paired per shift.
Ms Kyasike said although thet are over worked, she is optimistic that with the new district hospital under construction, the situation would improve.
“Currently one health worker attends to more than 50 patients a day. They are the same people carrying out immunisation and dispensing drugs and because we lack store keepers, we do the dispensing of drugs,” she adds
“When a colleague takes a day off, then you feel the work load,” Ms Kyasike said .
The situation is similar in Iganga, Kiryadongo and Masindi hospitals where this reporter visited.