Sunday August 31 2014

Namutumba District has no ambulance, says doctor

By Agatha Ayebazibwe

With 33 public health facilities in Namutumba District, one would expect at least four or more ambulances depending on the level of facilities.
However, the district has for the last three years, had no single ambulance to transport patients.

This, according to the District Health Officer (DHO), Dr James Kirya, has made referrals very difficult and hard to prevent deaths where the relatives of a patient are too poor to transport them.
“The most affected people are mothers whom we refer to either Iganga or Jinja Hospital with complicated pregnancies. The relatives have to find a way of transporting the patients,” he told journalists at the district headquarters.

Dr Kirya also said since the district was created six years ago, the Health ministry has not procured a vehicle for the DHO, making it difficult for him to run the district health activities.
“One of the key roles for my office is to supervise the health facilities in the district but I cannot do it if I do not have a car to ease my movements,” he said, adding that he is currently using an old vehicle given to him by a friend to run the district activities.

But the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Asuman Lukwago, lashed at Dr Kirya, saying the district has enough money that if well appropriated, would cater for all their needs.
“As a district, this year, their health budget is Shs1.5 billion, including Shs180 million for Primary Health Care (PHC), Shs86 million for PHC non-wage, and Shs1 billion for wages. They have been getting this money for the last five years but they just do not know how to priotise,” Dr Lukwago said.