Government should improve public healthcare

Friday March 27 2020

Members of public the sanitizes before entering

Members of public the sanitizes before entering Namayiba Bus park in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY DAVID LUBOWA 


On Monday, the Daily Monitor reported that property and drugs worth millions of shillings were destroyed after floods wrecked Njeru Health Centre III in Buikwe District.

The rainstorm, which also affected neighbouring households struck on Saturday night, forcing flood water into offices and stores.

The storm also destroyed the maternity ward, outpatient department and laboratory of the health facility which serves more than 30 villages in Njeru Municipality.

Generally, healthcare in Uganda faces numerous big challenges. One of the major public complaints about Uganda’s health system is that there is no medicine and other supplies in government-run hospitals.

And this is on top of poor and unethical conduct by some health workers. This in turn, constrains the budgeting and planning process of individual hospitals and in turn impact negatively on the service delivery.

However, in a time like this, when we have a pandemic wreaking havoc in the world, we can’t afford to waste any medical resources.


Now that the Health ministry on Wednesday announced five new cases of coronavirus bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 14, we should be more vigilant and pay more attention to health facilities in all parts of the country.

The rising number of confirmed cases should be worrying given the fact that even developed countries like Italy, US, Spain, Denmark, China, Canada and Brazil, many of them with standard health facilities, have registered several deaths and infections arising from coronavirus.

The seeming indifference about health sector in Uganda is partly to blame for the poor healthcare service delivery. In the case of Njeru Hospital, it is unfortunate that the RDC, who visited the facility after the flooding, did not address the many challenges facing the facility.

“Let us forget politics when it comes to health. How can someone build in the road and you just look on...? The question is, where were government officials when the facility was being constructed? For how long shall we continue to give excuses?

It is no surprise then that across the country, those who can afford opt to go for treatment at private hospitals that provide better health services. The rich/wealthy seek better medical attention abroad.
Uganda’s healthcare performance is still ranked as one of the worst in the world by the World Health Organisation.

Such experiences should be enough to trigger the interest of those in charge of managing the country’s resources and health system.

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