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Kiryandongo Hospital Hit By Drug Shortage After Gaagaa Bus Accident

Christopher Mwanje, a patient says he has resorted to buying drugs outside the hospital after failing to secure any at the facility. Mwanje has asked government to come to their rescue, saying they cant afford buying drugs because they are costly.
An health worker diagnosing a sick child at Kiryandongo Hospital. Administrators say they have run out of medical supplies

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Kiryandongo hospital has run out of medical supplies following its response to a nasty accident that claimed the lives of 23 people and injured 15 others critically on Friday last week. Some of the medical supplies out of stock are antibiotics, pain killers, IV Fluids, gloves, cotton and sutures. The hospital has also run out of fuel for referrals.

Following the Gaagaa bus accident in Nanda village, about 12 kilometers from Karuma Township in Mutunda Sub County, the rescue teams first rushed the victims to Kiryandongo Hospital for treatment before they were referred to Mulago and Nsambya hospitals.

Now, the hospital and the Kiryandongo District local government leadership, say the emergency exhausted the medical supplies at the facility. Charles Ntairehoki Amooti, the Kiryandongo district LC 5 Chairman, says the hospital received the emergency shortly after receiving medical supplies from the  National Medical Stores on May 15th, 2018.

He says most of the drugs and fuel budgeted for the fourth quarter was used to handle the accident victims leaving the hospital stores empty.

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Sam Mutiti Tumwesigye, the Senior Administrator Kiryandongo hospital, says they used the fuel budgeted for their ambulances for the entire quarter to evacuate the accident victims from the scene. Kiryandongo hospital spends Shillings 600,000 on fuel for referrals each quarter.

Tumwesigye says the accident came at time when they are struggling with low medical supplies from National Medical Supplies and want the Health Ministry to intervene in the matter. According to Tumwesigye, they have resorted to borrowing resources from the private wing as they plead with the National Medical Supplies and Health Ministry to replenish their stock.

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Christopher Mwanje, a patient says he has resorted to buying drugs outside the hospital after failing to secure any at the facility. Mwanje has asked government to come to their rescue, saying they can't afford buying drugs because they are costly.

Dan Kimosho, the Spokesperson of National Medical Stores-NMS hasn't yet commented as he couldn't be reached on phone. The Health Ministry Spokesperson, Vivian Sserwanja advises the hospital administrators to request NMS for medical supplies and is hopeful that they will attend to it since they also appreciate the role played by the facility to save the lives of accident victims.

Despite the fact that Kiryandongo district hospital attracts patients from Apac, Buliisa, Masindi, Nakasongola, Hoima and Kiryandongo hospital, it is ill equipped to save lives. It lacks specialists and some of the key supplies to respond to emergencies.

The hospital's challenges are compounded by unreliable power supply. On Friday, health workers had to run for oxygen tanks after power went off at about 3am with four survivors on life support.  Health workers resorted to their phone torches as the few solar bulbs only illuminated isolated sections of the hospital. 

Government allocates Shillings 80 million to the hospital annually, which caters for its administrative costs and other needs. The hospital attracts over 300 outpatients and inpatients each day. On Tuesday, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah tasked the Health Ministry to improve and strengthen the hospitals and health facilities on major highways.

Oulanyah said there is need to improve the emergency and intensive care units at Masaka, Kiryandongo, Kawolo and Mbarara hospitals. He argued that airlifting accidents victims to Kampala is costly and not a guarantee that lives will be saved.