August 19, 2013

LUWEERO: Health Center Suspends Operations Over Accommodation

The management of Nyimbwa Health Center IV in Luweero district has suspended night operations following the failure by medical workers to find secure accommodation in the neighborhood.

Nyimbwa Health Center IV, which handles more than 100 patients each day, has 45 health workers and one doctor. However, only 9 health workers are accommodated at the single roomed apartment at the health center leaving 37 senior staff including the doctor and clinical officers amongst others with nowhere to stay.

Disan Kikabi, the Chairperson Luweero district Health Committee says they have stopped night operations because the few health workers who stay around the health center lack skills to handle key operations like cesarean. Kikabi explains that Nyimbwa Sub County allocated the doctor Innocent Nkonwa a house but it was grabbed by politicians and handed over to unidentified people.

He says the sub county has about five houses, which are mismanaged and asked Eustace Gakwandi, the Luweero chief administrative officer to intervene and evict the illegitimate occupants and allocate the houses to medical workers to save patients.

Health workers at Kikube Health Center II sleep in stores while on night duty, while Kigombe Health Center 11 has also night operations.

Maureen Najjuuma, a clinical officer at Nyimbwa Health Center says currently all patients in need of emergency treatment are referred to Bombo, Nakaseke and Mulago Referral Hospital. She however, says some of the patients fail to make it because of lack of transport means. Najjuma explains that due to lack of accommodation, health workers commute from Kampala, Wobulenzi and Bombo town which is also costly and affects their performance.

Nuluyiat Musoke, a resident at Kalule trading center says she went to Nyimbwa health center recently for a C-section at night but she was disappointed after she was referred to Bombo hospital yet all the facilities are available. Musoke has asked the health ministry to stop wasting resources on non priority areas and build staff houses at the health center. Abdul Kalemera, the Nyimbwa sub county LC V councilor insists that accommodation is not the biggest challenge at the health center but lack of commitment by health workers.

He claims that the district allocated the in-charge Innocent Nkonwa a house but he seemed less interested and a police officer took it over. Kalemera asks Joseph Okware, the Luweero district Health Officer to check on absenteeism to ensure improved service delivery at the center.

Eustace Gakwandi, the Luweero Chief Administrative Officer is equally concerned that houses meant for health workers are being used by politicians. He has vowed to evict the occupants to create space for the medical staff.

Nyimbwa Health Center IV caters for close to 140,000 residents from the sub counties of Wobulenzi, Katikamu, Makulubita, Nyimbwa and Bombo town council.

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