Butaleja. Established in 1970, Busolwe General Hospital in Bukedi sub-region is operating in dire conditions.
The facility was constructed during former president Apollo Milton Obote’s regime. What welcomes you upon arrival at the facility are rotten beds, dilapidated buildings and poor hygiene.
The facility is overwhelmed by the number of patients visiting it on a daily basis.
Despite being the main hospital in Butaleja District, it also handles patients from other districts, including Tororo, Namutumba and Budaka.
The Busolwe Town Council chairperson, Mr Safe Manshur, blames the deteriorating condition of the health facility on government’s failure to rehabilitate it.
“The hospital has never received a major renovation since its construction, although there have been minor repairs like painting and replacement of ceiling boards. But what is needed is complete renovation and remodelling,” he said.
Mr Manshur said government should also equip the facility with the required medical machines, drugs, beds and mattresses, among others.
“We need more doctors and health workers because the present staff is inadequate to handle the overwhelming number of patients,” he said.
Ms Rose Namwirya, a resident, said when you visit some of the wards, especially the maternity and children ward, the smell emanating from there is unbearable.
“Our government doesn’t show any interest in our health faculties. They have taken no interest in the health system since they took over power,” Ms Namwirya, said.
She added that the hospital receives hundreds of patients but there is only one doctor.
When contacted, the senior hospital administrator, Ms Sylivia Kezaabu, declined to comment on the matter and referred Daily Monitor to the medical superintendent, Dr David Okanya who also referred us to the district Chief Administrative Officer.
The Butaleja District health officer, Dr Ivan Mukasa, told this newspaper that he was not aware about the matter.
The CAO, Mr Moses Echat, however, said the hospital would soon be refurbished with funding from Uganda-Spanish Debt swap at Shs24 billion.
“In one year, the hospital will be shinning. Shs24 billion is not little money,” Mr Echat said, adding that such challenges will be history.
Mr Echat explained that the contractor, who is currently working on Kawolo Hospital in Buikwe District, will shift to Busolwe upon completion of the Kawolo project.
The Butaleja Resident District Commissioner, Mr Richard Gulume, who acknowledged the challenges facing the facility, said government has secured money to rehabilitate it.
“We are aware of that challenge. We are going to work on it as soon as possible,” Mr Gulume, said.
To be renovated
Butaleja District Woman MP Milly Mugeni also reiterated that the hospital is going to be renovated and equipped.
Former Bunyole East MP Emmanuel Dombo said it’s worrying that since its establishment, the hospital has never got any major repairs.
“This is the first major repair the hospital will get since its establishment and it was during my regime when I lobbied for it,” Mr Dombo, said.
He said the renovation also addresses staff motivation and retention through improved provision of staff housing.