Zombo District leaders are demanding a government hospital as part of the unfulfilled presidential pledges made five years ago.
The leaders argue that it has become increasingly difficult for patients in the district to travel to Arua or Nebbi hospitals after being referred there because the district lacks a hospital.
According to the district chairman, Mr John Orwiny, there is need for government to construct a hospital in the district because most patients cannot afford to pay medical bills at the private clinics.
“Majority of our people are poor. Having a government hospital could help reduce medical bills,” Mr Orwiny said on Wednesday.
Patients in the district mainly rely on the Catholic-founded Nyapea hospital, which is usually overcrowded with other patients from neighbouring DR Congo.
The few health centres in the district are poorly equipped and do not have ambulances that can be used for emergency cases.
The State minister for Northern Uganda, also the district Woman MP, Ms Grace Kwiyucwiny, urged government to upgrade Paidha Health Center III to IV and equip it.
President Museveni pledged to upgrade the health centre more than 10 years ago but nothing has been done about it to date.
However, Mr Simon D’ujanga, the State minister for Energy and also the area MP, said government has allocated funds for the construction of a district hospital.
He urged the leaders to be calm as the Health ministry works on the plan.
One of the residents in Paidha town, Mr Andriano Ogen, said people fear to take their patients to private hospitals or clinics because of poverty.
He added that Zombo residents still have challenges in transporting their patients to neighbouring districts of Nebbi and Arua.
How it came about. The district was created by an Act of Parliament and became functional on July 1 2009. Prior to that, the district was part of the Nebbi District.
Location. The district is bordered by Arua District to the north, Nebbi District to the east, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south and west. The town of Zombo, where the district headquarters are located, is approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi), by road, south of Arua, the largest city in the sub-region. Most patients in Zombo are referred to Arua hospital.