Patients overwhelm hospital

Tuesday February 26 2013

Children under intensive care share a bed in the Paediatric Ward at Bwera Hospital

Children under intensive care share a bed in the Paediatric Ward at Bwera Hospital recently. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA. 


Despite a recent recruitment of nurses to fill staffing gaps in the health sector, congestion in wards has remained a huge challenge in health centres.

In Kasese District, Bwera government hospital is preferred by many due to its closeness to the Uganda-Congo border.
However, the health facility, located in Mpondwe–Lhubiriha Town Council, is overwhelmed by patients.

When this reporter visited the facility recently, old and young people, as well as expectant mothers, were lying in the compound amidst few staff members.

Bwera Hospital, was constructed with 100-bed capacity, now handles some 300 patients, most of whom sleep on floor, especially in the maternity and paediatric wards.

Only 25 patients are supposed to be admitted in the maternity ward but there are now 76 patients there, while the Paediatric ward has 39 patients instead of 25.

Besides, the congestion, beds in the labour ward are rusty and some are without mattresses, which poses a health hazard to mothers.
Last year, the hospital had 42 staff, less than 30 per cent of the required number of personnel. Since then, more 48 staff have been recruited to improve service delivery but are more are still needed.

The hospital received an ambulance last week, which Medical Superintendant Jonathan Sekitto says will help the facility attain the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing infant and maternal mortality respectively.
The hospital’s last ambulance was burnt by ADF in 1997.

“Much as we are working towards delivery of quality healthcare to the public, we still have a major challenge of staff welfare in terms of accommodation for the newly -recruited staff,” Dr Sekitto said.
The RDC, Lt. Milton Odongo, criticised people who grab the hospital land, saying there is no space to build staff houses.

“As I speak, 25 people want to be compensated by government. Bwera Hospital has no land title which makes it difficult for us to challenge the encroachers,” Mr Odongo said.

The district also has church- founded hospitals of Kagando and Kilembe.