Residents of Kilembe and persons seeking medical
services at Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese are asking government to fully equip the hospital to better service delivery in the area.
The residents have said government should move quickly to
equip the hospital with good medical equipment.
Kilembe mines hospital permanently shifted to Kasese town in June 2021 after
it suffered two waves of flash floods on May 7 and on May 10 in 2020.
The Tri-partite arrangement between the Government of Uganda, Kilembe
Mines Ltd and Kasese Catholic Diocese came to an end in April this year.
Kilembe mines then offered some of its old structures adjacent to those destroyed by floods to
accommodate the hospital while the diocese opted to continue its services as
St. Mary’s hospital in Kasese town.
But residents in Kilembe and the surrounding areas say they
are being referred to other health centers in town for medical examination and treatment because the hospital lacks enough
medical equipment, space and drugs.
Medical workers at the
facility also told URN that the number of patients is increasing which calls more medical supplies and staffing.
Dorecka Masika, a
resident of Kilembe says the return of the health facility in the area has not
yet addressed their plight of inadequate health services since 2020. She says pregnant women
who require extra medical care are still being referred to other
health centres in town for better management.
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Samson Kathembo, a patient said he
left Mbuga sub county anticipating to find X-ray services at the facility, but
he was directed to St. Mary’s hospital which needed money and he didnot have. He blames leaders at the
national level of failing to appreciate the health service challenges of the area.
“All top ministers and
the vice president herself have been here. It's two years now but they all seem to
have forgotten about our problem and as such there is very low response from government,” says Kathembo.
Joyce Maloba, another resident says they
have demanded for elevation of Kilembe HC to support health service in their
area but this has been in vein. She adds that pregnant mothers have to trek
from as far as the mountainous Mbuga Sub County to Kasese Municipality to
access maternal services amidst the raising transport fares.
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Patrick Samusanghara, the councilor of Kyanjuki ward to the
municipality, says that the area has an estimated 70,000 people justifying the
need to equip the hospital better.He also wants government to consider equipping the facility with new modern machines.
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A worker at the facility
who preferred not to be named because he is not the official spokesperson
says there is no clear direction regarding when government will equip the hospital. He reasons that there is no justification to delay this process since there were no terms and condition
when the hospital was transferred to kasese town after the 2020 floods.
Another worker blames local leaders of failing to guide government on what to do even when they are witnessing immense health challenges in the area.
But the Kasese Resident
District Commissioner-RDC, Lt. Joe Walusimbi says the process of transferring all
equipment’s will be handled in a
phased manner and it would involve all stakeholders including the Ministry of
Health and the diocese. He says he consulted the director of planning in Ministry of health and he was guided
to hold on the planned transfer of equipment.
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Walusimbi however says the director also informed him
that the transfer of the hospital does not mean that automatically it will have
more funds and drugs.
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Sister Topista Basemera, the senior administrator Kilembe Mines Hospital earlier
told URN that the process of ending the tripartite agreement is taking the
right direction but was not ready to divulge more details.