Kuluva Hospital Overwhelmed by Patient Numbers

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Jimmy Ondoma, the hospital administrator says the hospital which was previously receiving between 700 and 1,000 patients monthly, has seen the numbers surge to between 2,500 to 2,700 patients a month.
A nurse attends to a pregnant mother

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Kuluva Mission Hospital in Vurra Sub County, Arua district is grappling with the huge number of patients admitted in the facility for services.

Jimmy Ondoma, the hospital administrator told Uganda Radio Network on Tuesday that, the facility has been hit by high turn-up of patients for medical services mounting pressure on the staff and the available resources and structures.

Ondoma says the hospital which was previously getting between 700 and 1,000 patients monthly, has seen the numbers surge to between 2,500 to 2,700 patients a month. 

Ondoma singles out the maternity section which he says registers up to 200 maternal admissions and 130 deliveries monthly. He says the current bed capacity of the maternity section is 190 patients leaving the excess patients to sleep on the floor.

In September alone, Kuluva Hospital carried out 92 Caesarean deliveries. This according to Ondoma is because the hospital restructured its costs for services reducing most of the prices with major operation which used to cost 150,000 dropping to 75,000 shillings. 

Ondoma says currently the construction of a new maternity ward has stalled due to lack of funds. The hospital has raised 200 million shillings to resume construction and is seeking support from the government of Uganda since it currently serves as the health sub district facility for Vurra and Upper Madi counties.

Meanwhile the Belgium technical services have reduced the burden on the hospital by offering 100 litres of fuel monthly for the operation of the ambulance. Ondoma says the ambulance needs 240 litres of fuel to run on monthly basis, but the hospital only realises 40 litres leaving a gap of 100 litres. Previously, the communities used to fuel the ambulance when they needed the services.

Natasha Flora, a resident of Upper Madi County whose child has been admitted for three weeks, says much as she is sleeping on a bed, it has no mosquito net. She says some mothers still sleep with their children on the floor. She says the charge for children ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 shillings which is friendly to them.

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Government of Uganda sends 360 million shillings to Kuluva Hospital every financial year, while another 20 million shillings comes from Arua district local government through Public Health Care funds.

The hospital currently has 213 workers with three medical doctors, but Ondoma says government needs to hire more midwives to handle the increasing number of deliveries.

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