Power distributor UMEME six days ago switched off electricity to Kiswa Health Centre III, a newly refurbished health unit in Bugolobi, Kampala over unpaid dues, it appears.
This action has affected delivery of services to the health centre which attends to at least 600 patients from surrounding city suburbs every day.
The facility is managed by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the body that runs the capital city.
Bureaucratic procedures at KCCA are to blame according to a medical officer who preferred anonymity.
“Our bosses submitted requests to KCCA, but the process of clearance through the procurement disposal unit takes long,” the officer said.
Although the health centre requires a minimum of sh1m for power every month, only sh150,000 was provided by the KCCA.
However, Robert Kalumba KCCA’s acting spokesperson, said: “The facility is still under renovation. It has not been officially opened and it is not yet fully functional.”
Established in the 1960s by KCC, Kiswa was taken over by the health ministry in 2002.
It was recently refurbished with aid from the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and meant to be commissioned this week. The exercise has since been postponed.
The newly renovated facility boasts of an expanded pharmacy, waiting area, out-patient services and fitting furniture, consultation rooms for patients seeking antiretroviral treatment construction of stores for non-medical supplies and a face-lift on the laboratory.
An estimated 3,000 HIV-positive patients depend on the health centre for antiretroviral drugs every year.
Uganda’s health system has been dogged by among others finance issues, poor pay of health workers and lack of enough medicines and this latest incident casts a doubt about the leaders’ commitment to improve it.