Angella Mpiriirwe, a mother from Ruhija sub-county who our reporter found at the facility pending labour, said that upon her arrival last weekend, she realized how the doctor was struggling to perform a cesarean section during night hours without surgical gloves and Misoprostol.
Muko Health Centre IV in Rubanda district is struggling to
operate with lack of basic requirements such as gloves, water and inadequate
space in the maternity ward. The health admits more than 20 expectant mothers
on a daily basis.
It serves mothers from Ruhija, Ikumba, Muko and Bufundi sub-counties
and Murore, Kashasha, Kacherere and Habuhutu town councils. However, the
maternity ward at the facility can only accommodate six beds. The lack of gloves, polythene bags and Misoprostol drug that
is used to treat postpartum bleeding due to poor contraction of the uterus at
the facility, forces mothers to use their money to buy from private drug shops.
National Water and Sewerage Corporation only supplies water to the facility three
days a week. As a result, mothers and their attendants have to trek to the
nearby swamp to fetch water. Angella Mpiriirwe, a mother from Ruhija sub-county who our reporter found at
the facility pending labour, said that upon her arrival last weekend, she
realized how the doctor was struggling to perform a cesarean section during
night hours without surgical gloves and Misoprostol.
She says that due to lack
of transport means because of the nighttime curfew, the doctor was forced to
use his airtime to secure the essentials items needed at the facility. Mpiriirwe says that she also spent the night on verandah due
to lack of space in the maternity ward.
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Annet Tumushabe and Betty Kihembo from Kyenyi and Kacherere parishes in Muko
sub-county respectively were also at the facility waiting for labour. The two
told URN that they had already been informed to prepare the money to buy the essentials
needed for labour.
They also say that sleeping on the verandah without a
mattress stresses them and causes them pain in the ribs. They also narrate how
they walk for about two kilometers to fetch water in the swamp because of the unreliable
supply at the facility.
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Slyvia Kyomugisha, the Senior Nursing Officer at Muko Health Center, says that
on average they deliver between 80 and 112 mothers monthly both through normal
and caesarian section.
Kyimugisha says that the absence of space in the maternity
ward forces mothers to sleep on the floor in the Out Patient Department (OPD)
during the night and spend the daytime in the compound.
Kyomugisha also says that the six beds in the maternity ward
are only given to mothers who have undergone cesarean section.
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Godfrey Bampabwiire, the in-charge of Muko Health Center IV,
says that mother struggle to purchase gloves, whose price has increased from
Shillings 12,000 to around Shillings 25,000. He also says that there is a time
when the facility spends a full week without water, which forces mothers and other
patients to trek to swamps for water.
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Abdon Birungi, the Rubanda District Health Officer says that National Medical
Stores (NMS) has not supplied surgical gloves in the entire district for the
last three months. He, however, says that they hope the challenges will end when
the health ministry upgrades the facility to a district hospital in the
2022-2023 financial year.