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Mbale, Uganda

Health workers and local leaders in Mbale District have criticised the congestion in Busiu and Bufumbo health centre IVs, that has forced male and female patients to share wards.


While touring the health facilities at the weekend, Ms Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, the Mbale Woman MP, described the situation as a violation of patients’ dignity and right to privacy.
“I am saddened that female and male patients share wards which is not allowed. We are going to see how we can solve it,” Ms Galiwango said.
“Government should equip the health centres with enough beds and ensure timely delivery of drugs,” she added.
At Busiu Health Centre IV, pregnant women routinely give birth on the floor due to lack of enough delivery beds in the maternity wards.
A health worker at the health centre, who preferred anonymity, said sharing wards has discouraged some patients from seeking treatment.
However, Mr Paul Omutu, the senior clinical officer at the facility, said they mixed patients because of invasion of bed bugs at the male ward.
Dr Jonathan Wangisi, the district health officer, attributed the congestion to ongoing renovations.
“We are renovating the children’s ward. Maybe it is the reason why we have congestion in some of the wards,” Dr Wangisi said, adding that health workers are discouraged from admitting male and female patients in the same wards.
Dr Bernard Maumbe, the officer-in-charge of the facility, said health workers are also working under stress.
“We work from morning to night without eating anything. You cannot expect to deliver to your expections under the current conditions,” Dr Maumbe said.
Mr Aziz Chemonges, the Bufumbo Health Centre IV clinical officer, said the facility receives more than 100 patients on a daily basis, which overwhelms them.
Ms Aisha Mugoya, a councillor representing Bukonde Sub-county, said although they notified the authorities about the poor state of the health centre, they have not yet received any positive response.
“The facility also faces drug shortages because they do not last for three weeks,” Ms Mugoya said.
She asked government to construct more wards and equip health units with enough equipment.

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