Monday May 19 2014

Patients pull bodies to Mulago ward corridors

By Farahani Mukisa

Tuberculosis patients at Mulago hospital last Saturday paraded three bodies in the hospital corridors, demonstrating over the staff’s failure to collect corpses from their ward for days.
The patients alleged that when people die, their bodies lie in the ward with other patients for at least 24 hours before they are collected creating a heavy stench in the ward.

“Today [Saturday] four people have died and their bodies spent the whole day within the ward,” said Mr Sam Biyinzika, a patient in the ward.
Patients interviewed separately, said at the weekend, a few doctors and nurses are at work. “On weekends, caretakers end up being the doctors because one or two doctors pass around. The nurses come late and leave at will,” said Joseph Luyiga, another patient.

No doctors on duty
“From 8pm till morning, you rarely receive doctors’ attention. All wards are always filled with cleaning staff. I last saw a doctor in the ward at 9am, now it is 7pm no doctor has seen my patient,” said another person.
“We are like hospital prisoners, the ward is stinking, I can’t move off my bed all I can do is to endure the environment,” said Mr Biyinzika. “Now I am a mortuary curator, a patient and a cleaner, who has helped to wrap the corpses you see lined in the corridors.”

Mr Enock Kusasira, the Mulago hospital spokesperson, said he had talked to officials in charge of the ward and hopes the situation will get to normal. “As far as I know, officials at the affected ward have handled the situation because I had talked to them and it is the body of one person who died that day that hadn’t been collected,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.
However, this newspaper understands that Mulago hospital has for years been grappling with staff short