Male and female patients at Nabilatuk Health Centre IV in Nabilatuk Sub-county, Nakapiripirit District share the same wards due to lack of space.
Ms Sarah Nangiro, an expectant mother, said she finds it difficult to get privacy. “There is no way that expectant mother can feel free even to change her clothes while in the maternity ward because male patients are also sheltered in the same ward,” she said.
Sr Jane Titin, the acting in-charge of the facility, said sometimes patients share beds.
“Sometimes we mix patients with tuberculosis, malaria and other disease one ward with children because we don’t have enough facility in the health centre,” she said.
Dr John Anguzu, the district health officer, said the ministry of Health had promised to support the health centre. “It is true we lack so many things, especially ambulances and staff but the ministry of Health is aware and they are working on it,” Dr Anguzu said.
The health centre, which serves a community of more than 20,000 people, has no operational ambulance. Mr William Namuk, the deputy LC3 chairperson, described the poor services at the facility as “unfortunate”, saying it does not qualify to be called a health IV. He said about 10 expectant mothers had so far died in various remote areas since January after failing to access the health centre due to lack of ambulance in the health facility.
Costly transport fares
Although the health centre got a double-cabin pick-up truck for transporting patients from remote areas, they are required to pay Shs250,000 for fuel and a driver. “Those who cannot afford the charges have resorted using wheel barrows to transport their patients to the health centre. Many of them die on the way before reaching the facility,” Mr Namuk said. He appealed to the government to provide an ambulance to save the lives of expectant mothers and other patients.