Friday May 30 2014

Mothers give birth in kitchen

An expectant mother sits on the floor of the

An expectant mother sits on the floor of the makeshift ward that used to be a kitchen. PHOTO BY Isaac Mufumba 

By Isaac Mufumba


Pregnant women in Luuka District have been delivering from what used to be an abandoned kitchen at Kiyunga Health Centre since January 26, 2013 when a mysterious fire gutted and left part of the district referral facility, Kiyunga Health Center IV, in ruins.

According to health workers here, matters are complicated by the fact that the kitchen-turned-maternity ward which handles up to 90 deliveries per month has neither doors nor windows and even then, it is too small and ill equipped to handle the numbers that turn up there.

“We have only three beds with one delivery bed which was donated by Centenary Bank last year. In most cases, we are forced to prematurely discharge women in order to create space,” Ms Aisha Alitubera, a midwife, told this newspaper.

The facility’s compound is very bushy and has become a breeding ground for mosquitos.

In July last year, women leaders led by Ms Lydia Kayongo stormed the offices of the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Fred Aggrey Bangu, and issued him with an ultimatum to either have the facility closed or cause an immediate intervention.

Information available to this newspaper indicates that meetings with former Health Minister Christine Ondoa and her successor, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, bore no fruit since the district leadership had at all times been told that the ministry was too broke to do anything.

“We were told to wait until next financial when the money under the Public Health budget will be ring fenced to enable reconstruction work go on,” Luuka Woman MP Evelyn Kaabule told his newspaper.

The district NRM chairman, Mr Meddie Mulumba, said he has since taken up the matter with President Museveni who has promised to avail the UPDF’s construction unit to handle the matter.