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Kitgum Municipal Authorities Want Pandwong Health Centre III to Resume Operations

The Kitgum Municipality Mayor Walter Tooroma says assessments conducted by Ministry of Health on the health center for the past two months has given a negative rating, an indicator that it has not been not fully operational.
Pupils who turned up for malaria test head of Primary Leaving Examination last year at Pandwong Health Center III in Kitgum Municipality. Photo By Julius ocungi

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Kitgum Municipal authorities are demanding that Pandwong Health Center III resumes operations. 

The health facility was turned into a quarantine centre for suspected COVID-19 cases two months ago, affecting the attendance of thousands of patients.

The Kitgum Municipality Mayor, Walter Tooroma says assessments conducted by Ministry of Health on the health centre for the past two months has given a negative rating, an indicator that it has not been not fully operational.

He says the negative rating gives bad feedback on the Municipal council’s health sector performances which government has sunk in millions of shillings for its refurbishment last year.

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Tooroma says the district COVID-19 task force should relocate the quarantine centre to Kitgum General Hospital where a case management Unit established is currently lying idle to give space for normal operation of Pandwong.

According to Tooroma, the Health Ministry recently gazetted only Gulu Regional Referral Hospital as a treatment centre for Covid-19 positive patients in the region, leaving the case management unit in Kitgum idle.

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Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk also notes that they are afraid they will have zero ratings on their health sector quarterly assessment reports both from the Health Ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister.

Banya wants the suspects undergoing quarantine to be transferred to Kitgum General Hospital.

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The Pandwong Division Chairperson Raymond Ocan notes that sick people are trekking long distances and incurring high medical bills in other health facilities. 

He adds that the district COVID-19 task force has failed to heed to demands of partitioning the health facility to ensure that both those in quarantine and patients from the community receive treatment with contact.

Dr Geoffrey Okello, the Acting Medical Superintendent of Kitgum General Hospital, however, says the decision to relocate the quarantine centre is not timely because of uncertainty on the COVID-19 pandemic.

He notes that Gulu Regional Referral Hospital had earlier complained of being overwhelmed with space for treating COVID-19 patients adding that the treatment centre in Kitgum should stand as an emergency.

Okello maintains that Pandwong Health Center III is active and urged the district health department to write a report to the Ministry of Health clarifying on the status of the health centre.