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Health Minister Decries absenteeism at Kawempe Hospital

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The New ward was only refurbished after stories were run in the media last year showing babies compacted on plastic chairs. It’s then that a group of corporate companies and donor agencies raised funds to restock equipment like ventilators, patient monitors, piped medical oxygen equipment and resuscitation equipment, in addition, widening the unit which now sits in two wards.
A medical worker checks on babies admitted in the new unit.

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Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng is revamping supervision at Kawempe National Referral Hospital in the wake of complaints of doctors who turn up but don’t work and others that choose to completely stay away but continue drawing salaries.

Speaking at the launch of the refurbished Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital on Wednesday, Dr Aceng said senior officials in the Ministry led by the Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwiine will be visiting the hospital every Monday to ensure that health workers are working and equipment placed in the neonatal ward are put to good use.

//Cue in; “What they want...    

Cue out… a lot to be desired.”//

The New ward was only refurbished after stories were run in the media last year showing babies compacted on plastic chairs. It’s then that a group of corporate companies and donor agencies raised funds to restock equipment like ventilators, patient monitors, piped medical oxygen equipment and resuscitation equipment, in addition, widening the unit which now sits in two wards.

A total of 360 million Shillings was allocated to the completion of the unit. UNFPA representative in Uganda Alain Sibenaler revealed at the Wednesday evening launch that the money was part of a 1.3 billion Shillings donation to revamping maternal and neonatal care in five health facilities of Kawempe, Bulambuli, Packwach, Kalangala and in Karugutu, Ntoroko district. Part of the donation proceeds are from the MTN marathons held in 2018 and 2019.

On her part, Dr Doreen Mulenga, the UNICEF Uganda Representative, one of the donors that contributed to the facelift of the unit argued that for Kawempe to provide care at the level expected of a national referral hospital, the government needs to first address the overcrowding and high admissions by making use of satellites which are relevant in the context of COVID-19.

However, at any one time, up to 80 small and sick newborn babies are admitted in the NICU.  Also, each day, Kawempe hospital conducts an average of 65 deliveries of which 25 are delivered through caesarian section.

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