In an incident that happened over the weekend, Rebecca Kimuli, a S.3 student of His Mercy Secondary School in Kisomoro Sub County fell sick. Since there wasn\'t any health facility at the school, she was rushed to Fort Portal referral hospital, where she died on arrival.
Private schools in Kabarole district lack clinics, putting the lives of the students at a risk.
Last year, the district education and health departments, issued guidelines for schools to operate and among the guidelines was that every private school must have a clinic stocked with drugs and should have a qualified medical personnel. However a survey done by Uganda Radio Network, found out that there many of the private schools have not yet established clinics.
Students who fall sick are forced to seek treatment at health centres, which are far away from the schools. In an incident that happened over the weekend, Rebecca Kimuli, a S.3 student of His Mercy Secondary School in Kisomoro Sub County fell sick. Since there wasn't any health facility at the school, she was rushed to Fort Portal referral hospital, where she died on arrival.
David Rwagweri, the headmaster His Mercy Secondary School, says that the school had a clinic, but it was closed because of lack of funds for maintenance.
Rwagweri says that the school was spending lots of money to pay the medical staff and purchase the drugs.
He says that students who fall sick are taken to Kisomoro health centre, while those with emergency cases are treated from the school by the medical staff from the health centres.
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At St Mary’s Secondary School in Rwimi Sub County, there is no clinic and sick teachers and pupils access treatment at Rwimi health centre III, 10 kilometres away from the school.
Paul Mugisa, the head teacher, says that there is no space where to construct a school clinic and that since there is a health centre near the school, there is no need to construct one. Mugisa also says that the school lacks funds to pay the services of nurses and also purchase drugs.
He however says that a school clinic is important, since the school faces difficulties especially in the night, when some students fall sick and there is no one to attend to them.
Margaret Tuhaise, a parent says that the lack of clinics is an act of negligence on part of the school administration. Tuhaise who has a daughter at Blessed Primary School in Rwimi Sub County, says that it’s unfair for the school authorities to charge 50,000 shillings every term as medical fees and yet there are no medical facilities at the school.
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Richard Rwakaikara, the Kabarole District Education Officer, says that with effect from next term, the department will get tough on schools operating without clinics. He says that no school will be allowed to reopen without a clinic.
Citing the incident which happened on Saturday, Rwakaikara said that the girl’s life could have been saved, if she was given First Aid before being referred to the health facility.