According to the local government, human resource structure, every health center IV is supposed to have one anesthetic officer and an assistant. However, several health center IVs in the sub-region are operating without anesthetic officers.
facilities in the West Nile sub-region are struggling to offer services due to an acute
shortage of anesthetic officers.
Anesthetic officers are physicians who evaluate, monitor and supervise patient
care before, during, and after surgery as well as ensuring optimal patient
the local government, human resource structure, every health center IV is
supposed to have one anesthetic officer and an assistant. However, several health
center IVs in the sub-region are operating without anesthetic officers.
The facilities are Maracha Health center IV in Maracha District, Goli health
center IV in Nebbi district, and Moyo health center IV, among others.
At Arua Regional Referral Hospital, there are three anesthetic officers despite
being overwhelmed by the number of emergency cesarean operations.
Dr. Emmanuel Odar, a Gynecologist at Arua Regional Referral Hospital says, the
shortage has forced other health workers to attend to patients who need
He said the shortage of anesthesia providers has greatly hindered the full
operationalization of the facilities.
// Cue in; “
Goli should have…
anesthetic officers.” //
District Acting Health Officer, Paul Drileba says that they have only one
anesthetic officer who is stationed at Kuluva hospital since the district
currently lacks a health center IV.
// Cue in; “ The issue of …
kuluva hospital.” //
local governments are supposed to hire anesthesia providers, many districts in
the region have failed to recruit citing wage impediments.
Onzubo, Maracha District Health Officer, has blamed the shortage on the few numbers of people being trained.
// Cue in; “The
number of people…
the first challenge.” //
the Ministry of Health, the country needs a total of 400 anesthesiologists,
2,831 anesthetic officers, and 5,000 ICU nurses to work in regional referral
Records at the Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda estimate that there are 68 anesthesiologists who serve the entire country.
In 2019, the
Ministry of Health pledged to embark on a training program to attract people
in this highly specialized field as a measure to address the gaps.