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Aromo HCIII Suspends Services Following Collapse of Ceiling

Betty Akello, an enrolled midwife attached to the facility explains that the Health center cannot handle any maternity related cases currently, a reason they are referring them to Lira Regional Referral Hospital or Ogur HCIV. Subsequently, the room ceilings from the general and maternity wards also followed, forcing mothers who were at the unit to sleep under their beds.
Maternity ward out of service

Audio 4

Service delivery has grounded to a halt at Aromo HC III in Aromo Sub County in Lira district following the collapse of the ceiling in all wards including the maternity suit.  The ceiling collapsed on June 24th, 2020 as the surgeon was in the process of conducting start an evacuation procedure on a woman with incomplete abortion. 

Subsequently, the ceiling in the general and maternity wards also collapsed forcing the mothers in the unit to sleep under their beds. “I missed being hit narrowly but both I and the patient are safe. The ceiling had multiple leaks and now the whole maternity is unsafe for mothers and staffs and needs urgent attention,” the surgeon is quoted to have said. 

The mother was immediately referred to Lira Regional Referral Hospital, which is 35Kilometers away for further management. Most of the patients in the wards were discharged and others referred to other facilities the next morning. There were six mothers in the ward. 

The dilapidated maternity ward was built in 2007 under the Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) project in Uganda and has never been renovated. Betty Akello, an enrolled midwife attached to the facility explains that the Health center cannot handle any maternity related cases currently, a reason they are referring them to Lira Regional Referral Hospital or Ogur HCIV.

 

//Cue in: “I have been…

Cue out: … a healthy family.”//

In the 2017/2018 financial year, Aromo Sub County allocated Shillings 16 million for the renovation of the main ward. The contract was awarded to Atimo Investment Ltd, which didn’t complete the renovation works.       

Robert Odongo, a resident of the area and member of the Health Unit Management team, says they had severally reported the problem to the Sub County and District authorities but no action was taken. He wondered why the District has taken long to act.  

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Jami nii duc…

Cue out: … yiko ceiling board.”//

 

Agnes Atim Opeto, an expectant mother who has been receiving antenatal care services from the facility is now worried that the temporary closure of the maternity ward will endanger her life and that of her unborn child. “With all the problems brought by corona, I am expected to walk from Aromo to Lira? How will I do that? I don’t have even a bicycle to ride! I will just stay at home and wait for death,” she said.  

Another woman who had brought her child to the Outpatient Department- OPD, which is equally closed said “I know how painful it is to go through labor and to say a woman on labor should be taken up to Ogur or Lira is just crazy at least for me I can go take my son to a clinic. Let me tell you, many women will die here!”  

David Elic, the Aromo Sub County LC III Chairperson says the problem of the health facility has been a recurring but the district seems unbothered. According to Elic, the council inspected the facility recently and allocated Shillings 15 million for its renovation in the next financial year budget.

//Cue in: “This thing we…

Cue out: … somewhere to deliver.”// 

He explained that most mothers who cannot go to Ogur HCIV or Lira Regional Referral Hospital have resorted to traditional birth attendants for delivery.

 

//Cue in: “This season of…

Cue out: …traditional birth attendants.”//

The authorities are now calling on well- wishers and development partners to support the renovation of the maternity ward. James Ocen says plans are underway to shift the maternity ward to a youth center that was constructed by Concerned Parents to handle emergency cases.

Aromo HC III receives clients from Omoro and Pader districts in Acholi and Otuke, Kole and Lira districts in Lango sub region.