14 August 2016

State House report reveals rot in Wakiso hospitals

KAMPALA- Findings of a report prepared by the State House Health Monitoring Unit have revealed a dysfunctional and broken down healthcare system in Wakiso District, few days after President Museveni suspended health workers at a public gathering in Nakawuka parish.
According to the report, following numerous complaints raised by residents about delivery of health services in the district, the unit led by Dr Diana Atwine constituted a five-man team to visit the health facilities and follow-up on the complaints.
The inspected health facilities include: “Entebbe General Hospital, Kajjansi Health Centre IV, Wakiso Health Centre VI, Mpumudde HCIII, Nsangi, Sseguku HCIII, Namayuma HCIII and Kyengera HCIII.

The preliminary report on the Wakiso District health status dated August 5 has revealed rampant staff absenteeism, especially the senior cadres and officials in-charge of health facilities, theft of drugs and lack of accountability, non-functioning equipment and negligence, among others.

At Nakawuka Health Centre III in Mpumudde village where President Museveni suspended 11 health workers last week, the health monitoring team found that only the official in- charge and a new laboratory technician were on duty the day of the visit at 10am.

“Despite the fact that only two staff were present, all staff scheduled that day had signed the attendance book indicating they had reported to work between 8am and 9am,” the report read in part.

A member of the health monitoring team told Sunday Monitor that most of the health workers at Nakawuka Health Centre III have alternative jobs in the local trading centre.
“The midwives reside in the staff houses. However none of them was found at home. One of the maids to the midwife explained that her boss had “gone to her place of work,” the report added.

It further indicated lack of supervision at most health facilities. For instance, the district health officer, Dr Emmanuel Mukisa Muwonge, had visited Mpumudde Health Centre III only once in the last five years.

“Most of the officers in-charge were not found on duty, saying they were attending workshops and on further verification, it turned out to be true,” the report added.
The report says the quality of care at the facility was alarming, with the laboratory being run by a one David Ziraba, an unqualified person, who had been posted to arrange the medicine stores. He has been running laboratory tests for 11 years without qualifications, the report revealed.
At Entebbe General Hospital, the floors flood when it rains and huge humps have been created to stop water flowing inside, but the solution has not yielded positive results.
Dr Diana Atwine, who heads the health monitoring unit, said they will not accept to have “road humps’ inside a hospital. “Where there is evidence of criminality, those health officers and public servants responsible will be taken to the courts of law to be prosecuted,” she added.
“The problem is with the people at the Ministry of Health, who were supposed to supervise the works because there is a full-fledged department,” she added.

When asked about the shoddy works at the Entebbe-based facility, the Health minister, Dr Jane Aceng, referred this reporter to the permanent secretary, Dr Asuman Lukwago, whom she said supervised the construction works.

Dr Lukwago promised to get back to this reporter but never did. On the fake laboratory technician, Dr Aceng said: “I read the report. Health Service Commission and the District Service Commission are working on it.”



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