Floods wash away Kawempe Hospital patients

Friday March 2 2018

expectant mothers

Expectant mothers line up for antenatal care at Kawempe General Hospital,a subsidiary of Mulago National Hospital recently. PHOTO BY ERIC DOMINIC BUKENYA 

By LILIAN NAMAGEMBE

KAMPALA: 

The onset of the first rainy season that started a week ago has left Kawempe hospital flooded and patients scattering for their lives.

The Thursday downpour, flooded the private wing of the hospital.
Constructed at an estimated cost of $11.3 million (about Shs40.6 billion), with funding from the African Development Bank and the Nigeria Trust Fund, the 170 bed hospital with a private wing was opened in 2016 to host Mulago National Referral Hospital's gynaecology and obstetric department during its renovation and thereafter decongest it.
There are fears following the Thursday evening incident that left business at the hospital at a standstill when the walkways and some of wards got filled with water.
Ward seven where the private wing is located was the most affected according to sources at the hospital.
"Part of the ceiling board on on level 7 collapsed and the whole ward got filled with water that could cover our ankles," one of the cleaners at the hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity because she is not authorised to speak to the press said.
She added that the wards on other floors were not affected so much except the walkways that they were only able to finish cleaning and draining after 10pm.
The rain which started with drizzles at 4pm had by 6pm increased and started flowing through the windows and ceiling boards started leaking, according to another eye witness account.

Other video recordings by patients at the hospital also show water flowing through the windows.
"Most of the beds in ward 7 were wetted by the water flowing from the windows that health workers were forced to transfer mothers and the new-borns to the special care unit," said a witness who is also a caretaker.
There are also claims by some caretakers that a mother and a baby were injured by the ceiling which fell in and referred to an unknown hospital. Daily Monitor could not however verify the claims by press time. 
However, the hospital administrator, Ms Sarah Ndibarekera, refused to make any comment about the incident . She instead referred us to Mr Enock Kusasira the Mulago Hospital spokesperson to which Kawempe is a subsidiary.
Mr Kusasira said: "the flooding was caused by the storm but the problem is being fixed. What is true is that no one was injured."
A Daily Monitor visit to the hospital also found engineers and hospital administrators at level seven where part of the ceiling is said to have collapsed. They were also overheard saying that the ward would be closed temporarily. 

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