Kiyunga Health Centre IV in Luuka District is facing a host of problems impeding service delivery at the facility. People with premature babies at the health facility are forced to light charcoal stoves and lamps to give the babies warmth since there is no electricity at the hospital.
There is congestion at the facility which has only two wards, the maternity and a general ward, the latter is shared by both male and female patients, children and adults.
The facility also lacks a mortuary, a situation which has forced patients on several occasions to share their ward with dead bodies overnight. According to Luuka officials and residents the lack of a mortuary has lead to a miscarriage of justice.
“We find it very hard in cases of death. The hospital where we would take bodies for postmortem has no mortuary and sometimes we fail to access medical (postmortem) reports on such deaths because relatives are left to take their bodies because there is no mortuary,” the acting District Police Commander, Mr Charles Nyongesa, said, citing cases of suspected murder and accidents.
The former mortuary at the hospital is dilapidated and unusable. It is roofless and has no windows.
Mr Wilber Meregulwa, a resident of Kasozi Mawembe in Bulongo Sub-county, says he had to keep the body of his one-and-a-half-year-old boy who died at around 8pm in the ward until the following day.
“We were stranded and some nurses advised me to cover the body within the bed until the next day because I had no ready means of transporting the body to my village and the health centre ambulance lacked fuel,” Mr Meregulwa said.
Dr Matthias Wabwire Panyako, the officer in-charge of the facility, says they are always stranded with bodies after patients die. He says: “Immediately one dies, we assist the bereaved relatives to arrange for transporting the body to their respective village. We have an ambulance that was donated by the area MP Johnson Bagoole, readily available for fuelling to remove bodies out of the health facility.”
Dr Panyako says the health facility, which is due for elevation to a district hospital status after rehabilitation by the Ministry of Health expected to start this month, serves more than 150 patients daily and registers at least one death every day.
The District Health Officer, Dr Enock Kwikiriza, says: “We have written to the line ministry to give it (mortuary) a first priority during the redevelopment and maintenance of the centre,” he said.