Persistent load-shedding and water shortage has forced patients to abandon Kayunga Hospital. The hospital is now a preserve for the desperate, who part with Shs500 for a jerrycan of water. The patients and hospital staff have to share a two-door pit-latrine, with both sexes occasionally colliding at its backyard as they compete to ease themselves.

The paediatric ward in Kayunga Hospital looks isolated during this newspaper’s visit last week. Photo by Stephen Otage

The development follows reports that Kayunga Town Council has failed to pump water from the nearby water station since October last year when the national electricity crisis started.

The 100-bed public hospital was constructed in the 1970s.
An investigation conducted by this newspaper found only four patients in the 25-bed maternity ward, while in the paediatric ward had less than 10 patients.

Ambulances grounded
The investigation was prompted by the huge turn up of cataract patients for a free eye camp sponsored by Lions International as they commissioned a Shs170 million Eye Ward and Mobile Eye Clinic in the hospital on Friday. Cataract is an eye disease in which an area of the eye becomes cloudy.

The superintendent, Dr Ahmed Matovu, said the hospital was built in 1973 and commissioned by then President Idi Amin. He said three ambulances grounded in the courtyard were donations, while the only government ambulance is a grounded pick-up truck.

Faced with lack of ambulance, the district health officer surrendered his official pick-up vehicle, which is now being used as an ambulance.
“The hospital plumbing and sewerage systems have collapsed. We haven’t had water since October last year because town council says they cannot pump water because of unreliable power supply,” Dr Matovu said.

Late last year, opposition Members of Parliament were shocked to find patients lying in hospital corridors. Health ministry Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago said they are aware of the crisis in Kayunga Hospital, adding that the Health ministry has already approved a Shs100 million budget re-allocated from within to fix the hospital.

He said Busolwe and Kitagata hospitals are also in a similar state but blamed procurement process for the delay.

By Stephen Otage, Daily Monitor

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