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Inadequate Equipment Hampers Trauma Care at Gulu Hospital

Dr. Joyce Anena Oyet, the in-charge of the Accident and Emergency Unit at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, says that the hospital lacks a CT Scan, Intensive Care Unit –ICU facilities, medical supplies like X-ray films and enough staff, which affects trauma care.
Patients seated in front of Accident and Emergency Unit at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

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The inadequate equipment and medical supplies is hampering trauma care at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital. The hospital receives between 10 to 15 trauma cases daily, most of them accident victims.      

The patients are first admitted to the Accident and Emergency Unit for screening, resuscitation and secondary survey. They normally come with life-threatening conditions like broken limbs, head injuries and excessive bleeding.

Dr Joyce Anena Oyet, the in-charge of the Accident and Emergency Unit at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, says that the hospital lacks a CT Scan, Intensive Care Unit –ICU facilities, medical supplies like X-ray films and enough staff, which affects trauma care.

//Cue in; “The human resource…

Cue out…shortages of supplies.”//

She added that they also lack enough trolleys, wheelchairs and stretchers for carrying the patients to the unit.

//Cue in; “We have issues…  

Cue out …out of medicines,”//

Anena says due to the challenges at hand, they are forced to refer some of the trauma victims who require ICU facilities to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor while those who need CT scans are either referred to Aber Hospital in Oyam District or Mulago National Referral Hospital. The 2018 World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety indicates that road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death for people of all ages.

Patrick Bush Odong, a road traffic crash survivor who sustained a tibial tubercle fracture in his right leg on April 20th this year along Eden Road in Gulu City after his motorcycle knocked another, says that when he was rushed to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital for treatment, he was referred to a private health facility for X-ray since their machine had broken down. He says that they instead opted for St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor.

//Cue in; “Ma waoo ii…  

Cue out…kitera Lacor straight.”//

Odong says he spent 4 million Shillings for treatment at Lacor Hospital, which included 800,000 Shillings for the operation, and 1.5 million Shillings for a metal plate to fix the broken bone and medication. He says he would have spent less if he was to be treated at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital since it is a government health facility.

Odong appealed to the government to equip all the government health facilities with the required medical equipment and supplies to save patients from exorbitant costs in private health facilities.

//Cue in; “Alego gamente ma…

Cue out…ot yat maber.” //

Dr James Elima, the Director of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital declined to respond to the issues regarding the inadequate equipment and supplies at the hospital when contacted.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health Spokesperson told URN in an interview that the Ministry, through the emergency medical services department has established all the regional referral hospitals to be the regional call and dispatch centre for ambulances as one of the ways of improving responses to emergency cases.