Limited space forces Nebbi patients to sleep in toilets

Friday January 23 2015

A woman attends to a patient on the veranda of

A woman attends to a patient on the veranda of Nebbi hospital on Tuesday. The hospital is currently undergoing rehabilitation, forcing patients to take up any available space. PHOTO BY PATRICK OKABA  


On Tuesday night, Margaret Obedi took her husband to Nebbi hospital after he developed a high fever. The doctor confirmed he had acute malaria and recommended that he be admitted. However, there was no room available and her husband was placed on a veranda.
Mr Obedi is just one of the many patients who have had to make do with any space available as the hospital undergoes renovations. Maternity ward patients are sharing space with those in the paediatric ward. Some are lying in spaces meant to be toilets, and while that is odd, it is not as worrying as what other patients have gone through.
The maternity and male wards are being rehabilitated, forcing hospital administrators to shift male patients into the isolation ward which has Tuberculosis (TB) patients.
Even the veranda on which Mr Obedi has found bed rest is next to that ward, and he is also among the patients at risk of contracting TB.
“I’m scared for my husband’s life now because he can contract TB since we are mixed up with TB patients, which is dangerous to our health,” Ms Obedi says.
The hospital administrator, Mr Gilbert Onencan, admits the anomaly, saying the measure is temporary as the hospital tries to find a solution.

“We are going to regulate the number of patients’ attendance and restrict admission at the hospital since TB is transferable. We are going to examine the TB patients and discharge them to leave space for other patients,” he says.
The rehabilitation of the hospital is part of the Public Health Delivery System, where referral hospitals, including the national referral, Mulago, are being renovated.