What you need to know:
- The Shs60 million upgrade was undertaken by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (Adra), a charity organisation, and Nakaseke District Local Government.
Nakaseke Hospital neonatal unit has undergone a major refurbishment, with the facility getting incubators, resuscitating machines and oxygen concentrators, among others.
The Shs60 million upgrade was undertaken by Adara group, a charity organisation, and Nakaseke District Local Government.
While commissioning the facility at the weekend, Dr Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, said government would ensure that all public hospitals have functional neonatal units.
“Critical care for the newborn is among the basic services meant to be available at the hospital. We also believe that these services should be extended to the health centre IV facilities. We have had challenges in mobilising resources. We have the policy to support the setting up of neonatal units at the different public facilities,” she said.
The facility, which had a two-bed in-patient capacity in 2017, has been upgraded to a 20-bed capacity.
Ms Deborah Navvuga, a resident of Kapeeka Sub-county in Nakaseke District, said: “I had a normal delivery at Nakaseke hospital but shortly after discharge from the facility, my new-born baby developed a breathing complication. We were forced to rush back to hospital for help. My baby had almost stopped breathing. Until we got help at the baby care unit. After seven days the baby was breathing normally.”
The Nakaseke Hospital Medical Superintendent, Mr Bernard Okongo, said the refurbished unit is fully capable of treating new-born babies in critical condition. According to the hospital administration, the unit handled 1,888 cases between April 2017 and October 2021.
Ms Mariam Kaberuka, the chairperson of Nakaseke Hospital management, encouraged pregnant women to seek antenatal services at well-equipped facilities.
She added: “Respiratory complications are a common occurrence among a section of new-born infants that can only be managed at special facilities. The health risks at child birth are many but are manageable. The premature babies have to be under the incubator. We now have seven incubators at the new unit.”
The Adara country director, Mr Daniel Kabugo, called for proper training of staff to handle complications.
“We are partnering with the Ministry of Health to extend more of the neonatal-related services to other areas. It is our prayer the critical staff is trained and the units equipped to remain functional,” he said.
Nakaseke District leaders and hospital management, however, ask government to replace the solar water pump, which was installed in 2017. ‘‘We also need a functional generator to ensure that we do not risk the lives of the newborn babies referred to the neonatal unit for further case management," Mr Fred Bamwine, the Nakaseke RDC, said.