Authorities in Kawolo Hospital in Buikwe District are urging government to offer them Shs2b for renovation and re-equipping the health facility, one of those in the country that handles large numbers of accident victims weekly.
Strategically located on the Kampala-Jinja highway in Lugazi Town and near areas like Bulyanteete, Lugalambo, Kitega, Kibaati and Lwankima, which traffic police say are ‘black spots’, the hospital built in 1968, handles about 15 accident cases every week besides other illnesses according to the hospital administrator, Mr Haruna Wamala.
According to hospital records, the health facility handles close to 100,000 outpatients annually.
Mr Wamala told this newspaper on Monday that the hospital’s water and sewer systems have broken down, forcing them to hire people to fetch water at Shs500 a jerrycan.
“The hospital beds, mattresses, theatre operating table and delivery beds have all broken down and now medical workers just improvise to be able to offer services,” Mr Wamala said.
He added: “We have only one ambulance which has a small capacity to transport accident victims for treatment. In some cases we have to make about six trips to evacuate all the victims to the hospital.”
Mr Wamala said because of the delays in rescuing victims, some lives which could have been saved, are lost.
“We need about Shs2b to restore the hospital’s status and also expand it because the 100 beds we have are not enough due to the increasing population and prevalence of diseases,” he said.
Mr Wamala also said the hospital faces inadequate staff with only six doctors serving a population of more than 600,000 people.
“The hospital is supposed to have 12 doctors but because of poor accommodation and motivation, many of the doctors sent to the facility are reluctant to work here. We now lack dental surgeons, orthopedic and eye clinic specialists and we cannot handle such cases,” he added.
The hospital administrator also said the Shs154m Primary Health Care fund given to the hospital for electricity bills, workshops, fuel and cleaning is inadequate, causing them to forego some activities.
“Because we lack some essential drugs and specialists, we have set up a private wing where patients can access consultation and treatment at a fee. This wing is also assisting us raise some money to cater for some activities,” he said.
The district Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Joseph Mukwaya, said government had finalised plans to renovate the hospital but was not sure when work would begin on the project.
“The hospital is in a poor state but money for its renovation has been outsourced and government wants to elevate it to a referral facility,” Mr Mukwaya said.
Background. Kawolo Hospital built in 1968 handles 350 outpatient cases every day and serves Buikwe, Mukono, Kayunga and Buvuma districts.
Facilities. The hospital has only six doctors serving more than 600,000 people.
The facility is a common destination for most accident victims within Mukono and Lugazi areas (majorly Mabira Forest.