Uganda: Resident Turn Health Centre Into Store

Local leaders in Bukomansimbi District have tasked the government to consider operationalising Bukango Health Centre III at Lusaka Village to enable residents access medical services.

The health centre is now used by farmers to keep their agricultural produce and seedlings such as coffee and tomatoes.

The facility was built by former Masaka District chairperson Vincent Ssempijja (current Minister of Defence) in the early 2000s before Bukomansimbi was carved out of Masaka.

According to the Bukango Sub-county chairperson, Mr George William Ssebuuma, in 2017, the former Bukomansimbi North MP, Ms Ruth Katushabe, rehabilitated the facility after the district health department gave assurance to recruit staff and supply drugs. However, the health centre has not been operationalised to date.

“Many pregnant mothers are turning to traditional birth attendants because the facility that could help them is not functioning, yet they cannot walk long distances to seek medical attention from the nearest Bigasa and Makukulu health centres, which are more than 10 kilometres away,” Mr Ssebuuma said in an interview on Monday.

Ms Katushabe told Daily Monitor yesterday that she rehabilitated the structure after residents complained of lack of a health facility.

“That building was initially designed to house a water facility, but we involved engineers who gave it a facelift to be able to accommodate a health centre, but I am surprised that the current leaders have not made efforts to operationalise it,” Ms Katushabe said.

Health department speaks out

The Bukomansimbi District Health Officer, Dr Alfred Kato, confirmed that the facility was elevated to a health centre III status, but that they are still waiting for approval from the Ministry of Health.

“The district executive sat at the beginning of this year and ordered the health department to organise the facility and it works as an outreach post until we get approval from the Health ministry. We are still pursuing that and I am hopeful the ministry will consider our request,” Dr Kato said.

Despite recording 130 deliveries every month, Bukomansimbi District lacks a hospital and all serious medical cases are referred to Masaka Regional Hospital, located 30kms away.

Butenga Health Centre, which is the biggest in the district, receives at least 700 patients at the outpatient department and another 250 who seek antenatal care services every month.

A couple of years ago ,the district council passed a resolution to elevate the facility to a hospital status, but the then district chairperson, Mr Muhammad Kateregga, objected, saying the move should be halted until management at the facility was restructured.


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-10-01 13:54:19

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