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Bundibugyo Hospital Bosses Decry Congestion, Under-funding

The hospital, constructed in 1969, now accommodates more than 90 patients in its pediatric section, almost four times the capacity estimated at the time of its construction. There are more than 300 patients for a facility which was constructed to accommodate 104 patients at any given time.
Beddings in the pediatric ward at the Bundibugyo General Hospital.

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Administrators of Bundibugyo General Hospital have asked the government to expand the health facility, saying it is too congested, yet struggling with funding.

The hospital, constructed in 1969, now accommodates more than 90 patients in its pediatric section, almost four times the capacity estimated at the time of its construction. There are more than 300 patients for a facility which was constructed to accommodate 104 patients at any given time.  

Most patients now sleep on the floor which is equally too squeezed in a limited space. The number of beds in the wards is far below the number of patients.  Joseph Ndugo, a father who was found nursing his son is worried that instead, the patients could pick hospital infections resulting from the congestion and poor sanitary conditions.

"I brought my son here with malaria but I haven't seen the doctor yet. Some of us are going to leave this hospital with diseases, the situation here is terrible," Ndugo said in an interview with Uganda Radio Network.

Amon Bwambale, the Medical Superintendent of the hospital says they receive an allocation of 340 million Shillings annually for the purchase of medicines and other equipment which is not enough to cater for the growing population. He adds that the hospital would require more than 500 million Shillings, to be able to run efficiently and improve service delivery.

He calls upon the government to increase the allocation to the health budget and disburse them equitably so that Bundibugyo can equally access health services.

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According to the pediatric ward in-charge, Robert Muhumuza, the efficiency of the hospital is also crippled by staff shortage. The hospital now has 128 out of the required 190 members of staff.

Maureen Kabugho, a mother found nursing her son in the same hospital, says she was shocked when her son was given half the recommended dose because the health facility had run out of drugs.

"My son has anaemia but he has been sleeping on the floor because we didn't find any free beds. He has been given little attention and we have been referred to Busaru health centre III for further treatment," says Kabugho.

The District Health Officer Christopher Kiyita said he needs time to study the situation for an appropriate response.

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