Mbale Regional Referral Hospital has suspended some surgical operations following the breakdown of the autoclave machine at the main theater. It is used for sterilizing surgical equipments and theatre gowns. A junior medical officer who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to journalists told Redpepper that the Autoclave machine broke down about a week ago.
He says they are only handling selective and emergency cases. He says currently the hospital relies on the sterilizing machine at the Maternity wing, which has a very small capacity. He revealed that more than 50 patients in need of surgery have been turned away, since the machine broke down. Our reporter who visited the main theater on Thursday evening, found it unusually deserted with only a few medical workers and conducting examination on patients.
Patrick Weseko, a patient suffering from hernia from Sironko says he visited the hospital on Tuesday but was turned away and asked to return this week when they expect the machine to be repaired. Louis Muhindo, the Senior Principle Hospital administrator has confirmed the developments to our reporter but declined to divulge details. He said the Management of the hospital was scheduled to discuss the matter. He however notes that a medical theater cannot effectively work without a sterilizing machine saying the theater could turn into a unit of cross-infection.