Government health facilities in Kitgum District have run out of
surgical and examination gloves, Uganda Radio Network-URN has learnt. The
situation according to information obtained by URN has forced health workers to
demand examination gloves from patients before they are examined.
On Friday morning, several patients who had gone for medical examination at
Kitgum General Hospital laboratory got stranded after being requested to buy
their own examination gloves. Gloria Lakisa, a senior three student of Kitgum Standard High School was among
dozens of patients who couldn’t be examined because she couldn’t afford Shillings
1,000 to buy examination gloves.
Lakisa says that health workers told her and other patients to raise
money amongst themselves to buy gloves or miss out on the medical examination. “When I reached here, they told me to contribute Shillings 1,000, but I don’t
have any money on me, there is no way I can get the money now. I will just have
to go back home” said Lakisa.
Santa Layet, an expectant mother and resident of Alango West in Pandwong
Division, said that she had to contribute Shillings 1,000 together with another
patient to buy a pair of examination gloves.
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Layet said she had witnessed many patients who went back home because they
couldn’t afford to raise money for buying the gloves. Jennifer Lalam, a
resident of Ayul in Pager Division, said that she was directed to buy the
examination gloves from the hospital health facility.
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Dr. Geoffrey Okello, Acting Medical Superintendent Kitgum General Hospital
acknowledges that the hospital has run out of gloves. Dr. Okello said the
entire hospital has been affected by the lack of gloves.
The most affected are theatre, maternity, Casualty ward, and laboratory. Dr.
Okello says medical the supplies received from National Medical Store-NMS in
the last cycle had only surgical gloves, adding that no examination gloves were
He notes that the health workers are now forced to get examination
gloves from patients to enable normal health service provision. “We need the
gloves if you need to be helped, and then you should also help the medical
people by giving them what they will use to help you,” said Dr Okello.
Simon Knox Okongo, the In-charge of Kitgum Matidi Health Center III in Kitgum
Matidi Sub-county said the health facility hasn’t had examination gloves for
the past two months. He also reiterates that the last supply they had were
surgical gloves delivered two months ago and have since run out.
Okongo says lack of gloves has affected health workers from conducting their
work efficiently since locals in the villages don’t want to buy thinking they
are being cheated. Okongo who is also the district surveillance Focal Point
person notes that conducting tests for covid-19 has been halted due to lack of
gloves and personal protective equipment.
Dr. Alex Olwedo, Kitgum District Health Officer says the supply of the gloves
along other medical supplies is conducted on schedules. Dr Olwedo says the
examination gloves will be delivered by NMS but on a date scheduled for the
various health facilities.