Jinja hospital asks for independent theatre to save pregnant women 

Thursday August 22 2019
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Expectant mothers in their beds in Jinja Regional Referral Hospital on Friday. PHOTOS BY DENIS EDEMA

Authorities at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital have made a call for the government to provide an independent operational theatre to save the lives of pregnant women referred to the facility.

Some of these women, the authorities say end up dying before an operation, due to the small theatre the hospital has and the long line of patients waiting to be operated on.

The call was made by the acting assistant commissioner, nursing at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Ms Agirie Aligawesa Lubega.

“We have a challenge of attending to the expectant mothers who are referred here for special attention like those who are to undergo an operation to have their babies delivered safely. You find there are many other patients also waiting to be operated on. A separate theatre can reduce on mothers losing lives while giving birth,” said Ms Lubega.

Currently, the theatre cannot accommodate more than three patients at go for an operation. It is also the only theatre used for carrying out all kinds of operations.

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Attendants waiting for their patients to be operated at the door of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Theatre. PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA


Ms Lubega made the call on August 16th, during the visit of the Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Ms Allen Kagina who had come to commission an outpatient pharmacy shade.

According to the availed statistics, Jinja hospital handles 20-50 deliveries daily including those who undergo a caesarean section. The number of deliveries has increased from 5,000 in 2017 to 7,000 in 2018. 

The hospital had 20,000 admissions and 4,000 surgeries in the last financial year. Information on the number of deaths of women due to failure to be operated on, on time however, were not availed.

Mr Emmanuel Kelebende, 35, who accompanied his wife to give birth in the facility said they were referred from Bugiri hospital to Jinja but they found many patients lining up outside the theatre.

“My wife had failed to push and had to wait for about two days because there were other patients also waiting to be operated on; doctors and nurses are available but the theatre is small,” he said.

Ms Christine Naigaga, who had accompanied her pregnant sister said another problem they face is that some women book doctors at the private wing and they tend to be given more attention than those in the general ward.

Ms Kagina also visited the maternity wards and donated assorted items for the newly born babies and mothers, which included washing detergents, pampers, porridge flour and sugar. She said while the public only knows UNRA’s work as that of constructing roads, the organisation also cares about the health of the patients in the hospitals.

“We have come to Jinja hospital to commission an outpatient pharmacy shade for the patients waiting to be served drugs so that they do not have to wait in under the sun,” she said.

The director of Jinja Referral Hospital, Dr Edward Nkurunziza said the facility is faced with lack of space in all departments and that the available buildings are old and need revamping.