What you need to know:
The Kabale District Health Officer, Dr Gilbert Mateeka, last Friday, said: “The department of health at Kabale District local government does not have a single ambulance to transport its patients from the lower health units to the referral centres
The health department of Kabale District local government is struggling to offer services because it does not have an ambulance to transport patients from sub-counties to referral hospitals.
Kabale district has four health centre IVs, 11 health centre IIIs and three hospitals at Rugarama, Rushoroza and Kabale.
The Kabale District Health Officer, Dr Gilbert Mateeka, last Friday, said: “The department of health at Kabale District local government does not have a single ambulance to transport its patients from the lower health units to the referral centres. We depend on one ambulance owned by Kabale Regional Referral Hospital and other two owned by Rugarama and Rushoroza Church founded hospitals. The requirement of having an ambulance for every constituency has never been fulfilled yet the need for transporting pregnant mothers and other patients to referral centres is unavoidable,” Dr Mateeka said.
He made the statement at a ceremony at Rugarama hospital, a not-for-profit health facility, where the facility received an ambulance from the Byengoma family. The Byengoma family led by Mr Nicholas Byengoma and Mr Ivan Mbabazi Batuma also delivered hospital beds and mattresses and baby incubators, among other items.
“I have written letters to the concerned officials in the ministry of Health expressing the need of having our own ambulances for Ndorwa East, Ndorwa west and Kabale Municipality to facilitate the referral system of patients, especially pregnant mothers to referral centres,” Dr Mateeka said.
The Kabale District Health Educator, Mr Alfred Besigensi, said: “Kabale District loses about 100 babies aged zero to seven days per year. Last financial year, the district lost about 12 pregnant mothers due to among others, the lack of ambulances for timely transportation of the women in labour to the referral centres. The pickup ambulances that were allocated to the health centre IVs in 2005 are now grounded.
”Mr Enock Kazooba, the LCIII chairman for Ryakarimira Town Council, said locals pay at least Shs100,000 to hire a vehicle to transport a patient from Rubaya Sub-county to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, which is a distance of about 30Km.