What you need to know:
- Lyantonde General Hospital receives patients from several other districts including Kiruhura, Rakai, Lwengo and some parts of Sembabule.
- Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said she was not aware of the shortage of drugs in the district.
- Mr Joseph Jjuko, the Lyantonde District vice chairperson, said other health facilities in the district, such as Kinuuka Health Centre III have been hit by the crisis.
Lyantonde Hospital has entered a week without essential drugs prompting management to temporarily close the facility, Daily Monitor has established.
On December 20, the hospital management issued a statement advising patients to seek medical services elsewhere.
“This to notify the public that there has been a drug and supplies stock out since this month began. National Medical Stores has promised to supply us with drugs and supplies in January 2020, we are sorry for any inconveniences caused,” a statement seen by Daily Monitor, reads in part.
A senior medical staff at the facility who asked not to be named in this story because he’s not authorized to speak to the media, said the hospital ran out of Septrine and other essential medicines that treat common diseases such as cough, diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia and hypertension. They also lack maternal commodities such as oxytocin drug used to stop post-delivery haemorrhage, gloves, syringes, and catheters.
“Some staff members have decided to stay home because they are doing nothing at the hospital,” a female staff at the hospital told this publication on Friday.
Currently, those who need medical treatment have to go to Kijukizo Health Centre III which is run by the Catholic Church or Lyantonde Muslim Health Centre III owned by the Muslim faith. Others with serious complications either go to Masaka (62km) or Mbarara (67km) regional referral hospitals.
The statement announcing shortage of medical supplies was pinned on the hospital notice board and was written in English which most of the residents cannot comprehend. This, perhaps, explains why many patients continue to flock the facility despite the notice.
Mr Wickliffe Ainebyoona, a resident of Lyantonde Town said when he took his brother to the facility after getting a boda -boda accident on Christmas Eve, a guard he found at the gate advised them to go to private facilities.
“Since he [patient] was unconscious, I decided to take him to Mbarara hospital after getting first aid at a private clinic,” he said.
Lyantonde General Hospital receives patients from several other districts including Kiruhura, Rakai, Lwengo and some parts of Sembabule.
Between 600 and 1,000 patients seek treatment at the facility every day.
Lyantonde District Health Officer, Dr Moses Nkanika confirmed shortage of drugs but denied reports that medics no longer report for work.
“The hospital is not closed as some people say. Caregivers and patients are usually sent to private pharmacies to buy some medical supplies which ran out of stock,” Dr Nkanika said in a telephone without explaining the types of drugs that are out of stock.
Mr Joseph Jjuko, the Lyantonde District vice chairperson, said other health facilities in the district, such as Kinuuka Health Centre III have been hit by the crisis.
“That health centre [Kinuuka] is in the area I represent at the district. It was also closed two weeks to Christmas due to lack of drugs and staff were sent on leave,” he said.
He said the health unit usually receives medicine every after four months and those that were in store got exhausted in the first week of December.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said she was not aware of the shortage of drugs in the district.
“If there are no drugs, it is the weakness of district health officer and his team because National Medical Stores (NMS) can still supply drugs in case of an emergence,” she said in a telephone interview on Friday.