Eastern Uganda health personnel have petitioned Parliament’s Health Committee for better working conditions, citing decaying hospital infrastructure and a lack of accommodation as major challenges.
Buyende District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Frederick Daniel Isabirye noted that his area, like others in Eastern Uganda, is grappling with limited space and infrastructure that they fear will collapse soon, and has sought Parliament for assistance in finding solutions.
“There is an urgent need to improve health workers’ working conditions in the majority of health facilities in Eastern Uganda; limited working space mixed with very old, outdated infrastructure are significant barriers to service delivery,” he said.
MPs from the Health Committee are touring health centers in Eastern Uganda to inform refurbishment plans, led by Vice Chairperson Joseph Ruyonga.
Dr. Stephen Banonya believes a blood bank is essential for medical emergencies because Jinja is close to a busy, accident-prone roadway. “There have been many accidents on the Kampala-Jinja highway, and there has been a spike in malaria infections, as well as many pregnant mothers,” he explained.
Concerning housing, Dr. Banonya remarked that married people with children are forced to share homes with employees, a situation he believes requires prompt intervention by MPs.
Members of Parliament visited Bugembe Health Center IV, Wakitaka Health Center III, Kaliro Town Health Center III, and other locations in Kaliro, Jinja, and Buyende.
Irundu Health Center III in Kagulu Sub County and Buyende Health Center III in Buyende were the other two.
Kaliro MPs were astonished to find that the Kaliro Town Health Center III has been housed in rented premises for the last 18 years, promising to campaign for the hospital’s permanent structures to be completed. Buyende MP Mary Annet Nakato urged Parliament to back Buyende’s efforts to acquire a district hospital.