Residents demand hospital expansion

Misery. Patients in a congested ward at Masindi Hospital on November 27. Photo by Ismail Bategekai

What you need to know:

Stand. The hospital is heavily congested that some patients are forced to sleep on the floor

Masindi. Residents of Masindi District have petitioned the Health ministry to expand Masindi Hospital.
The health facility is currently hit by shortage of space with some patients sleeping on the floor.
Ms Julian Sarah Ayesiga, a resident of Masindi, says she was forced to sleep on the floor with her newborn twins to give room to another expectant mother.
Mr Eden Mugerwa, says his expectant wife was put on the veranda before delivery and waited until his wife delivered.

Masindi and Hoima are the main hospitals in Bunyoro Sub-region.
Other hospitals in the region are Kagadi and Kiryandongo.
Residents now wonder why the hospital is still housed in the same structure that was constructed by the colonialists in the 1920s.
They said other governments only renovated it and never expanded it to serve the growing population in the region.
Mr Justus Aquila, the leader of Masindi Youth Activists, on Wednesday said patients have suffered over the time with congestion after being promised by different leaders that government plans to build a new hospital.
“We have written to the Ministry of Health. We, therefore, need to know the fate of our hospital” Mr Aquila said.
Mr Manisur Awen, also an activist under Recreation for Peace and Development, said they opted to petition the Health Ministry because the hospital is funded by government.
“We have given copies to our district health officials and urged them to act because patients are crying,” Mr Awen said.
Dr Vincent Katusiime, the hospital superintendent, confirmed that the hospital has run out space and said they have written to the relevant authorities for expansion.
Masindi District, the previous financial year, received Shs200m for renovation of the male ward but not for expansion.
Dr Katusiime decried shortage of health workers at the hospital saying the ratio of doctors to patients is inappropriate.
“The doctors are few and are overworked and we would like the Ministry of Health to look into the staffing issue as well,” Dr Katusiime said.
Dr Jackson Amone, the commissioner Clinical Health in the ministry of Health, recently said government has finalised plans of expanding the hospital and has been sending money to the district in phases for the construction.
Dr Amone said Shs120m has been received and government will top up Shs200m in the next financial year.
She said the Health Ministry committed itself three years ago to improve Masindi Hospital but lacked funds.

About the hospital

1922. Masindi Hospital is government-owned. It started operating as a health aid post for the East African Railway workers in 1922. It was later taken over by the colonial government in 1935 was handed to government in 1965 as a Health Centre IV.
1988. It was elevated to hospital level and in 2008 it acquired an independent female ward with of 70 beds.
Service. The hospital serves Masindi, Bulisa, Kiryandongo and part of Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Hoima, Nebbi, DRCongo and Southern Sudan. It has 154 beds.
Renovation. The district plans to renovate the male ward, theatre, children’s ward, drug store, the Outpatients Department, the isolation ward, the administrative building and also expand the female ward.
Notice. Mr Amone said the ministry will not build any more hospitals for five years.