Friday May 9 2014

Kilembe hospital closed over floods

A patient is carried on a stretcher out of Kilembe Mines Hospita

A patient is carried on a stretcher out of Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese District after the health facility flooded yesterday morning. Photo by Thembo Kahungu 

By Thembo Kahungu Misairi &Enid Ninsiima

Kasese- Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese District has been closed after River Nyamwamba burst its banks, causing flooding at the health facility.

The hospital medical superintendent, Dr Edward Wafula, said there were 195 patients admitted in the hospital before the floods occurred at about 9am yesterday.

All the patients were evacuated by ambulances, government vehicles and private cars.

“The patients and their caretakers started running for their lives, so we decided to help out those who were in critical condition,” Dr Wafula told this newspaper.

Most of the patients, who had just had surgery for different complications, were transferred to St Paul’s Health Centre IV in Kasese Town.

An officer from St Johns Ambulance, who was coordinating the evacuation process, Mr John Baluku, said the number of patients had overwhelmed the charity until people with cars were called to assist with the evacuation.
The manager of the Uganda Red Cross Society Kasese branch, Mr Everest Habai, said the floods were a recurring disaster.

Last May, the river burst its banks, destroying property worth millions of shillings and paralysing transport in Kasese Town.
Most families that had returned to some parts of Kilembe valley were by press time relocating to Kasese Town.

The flooding comes barely six days after temporary wooden bridges on the river were washed away by the water.
River Nyamugasani also burst its banks, washing away the temporally bridge at Kyalhumba-Musasa town board.

The bridge is used by residents of Kyalhumba and Mahango sub counties. The acting manager of Kilembe Mines Ltd, Mr Alex Byaruhanga, said their offices were also submerged by water.

“We are in a dilemma again. We are scared that some of our bridges to the mines may be washed away,” Mr Byaruhanga said
The district police commander, Mr Michael Sabila Musani, said two people were stuck in the floods but police managed to save one but efforts were underway to trace another.

“We cannot send him a rope since the water is too much and he is very far from the river banks but we are trying by all means to save his life,” Mr Musani said.

He said residents of Kanyaruboga and Katiri cells refused to evacuate the place even when they saw flooding water approaching their homes.
Kilembe Mines Hospital was undergoing rehabilitation after it was hit by floods last year.

Two patients die
The Kilembe hospital assistant medical superintendent, Dr Robert Tiondi, said two people died of pressure after they had news that the hospital had been surrounded by water. “It is true that we have lost people patients after this sad news. We suspect that they died of pressure as they saw water flooding at the hospital,” he said.