Rakai Hospital Theatre Reopens After Expansion

Dr. Yasin Kiyemba, the medical superintendent, says they would receive a considerable number of patients in need of surgery and operation but would do little to help.
Major operations have resumed at Rakai Hospital following the expansion and refurbishment of the theater.

The UGX 50M project was funded by Operation International (OI), a mission by medical volunteers offering free services across the world.   

Rock Art Designers Ltd undertook the expansion and modification of the theatre in the past three months.    

According to Dr. Medhat Allam, the OI Managing Director, the expansion was meant to enable the hospital to carry out more operations and minimise referrals.   

He says the theatre was small with narrow paths, which made movement within the operation rooms difficult. The expansion also included the installation of an air conditioning systems in the six operation rooms.   

The organisation also provided several dental and eye surgery apparatuses plus a laundry machine and sterilizer to enhance hygiene before and after operations.   

Patrick Ssekidde, the Rakai Hospital Administrator, says the expansion project was an initiative of Bwowe Children Foundation through Kooki Traditional Institute.  

He adds that the process was meant to create a new theatre design to allow movement and speedy operations. Ssekidde explains that the operation rooms and corridors were initially small and could hamper convenient movement of both patients and medical staff.   

Dr. Yasin Kiyemba, the Medical Superintendent Rakai Hospital, says they would receive a considerable number of patients in need of surgery and operation but would do little to help.

He says they would refer them to Masaka regional referral hospital and other health facilities.

With an equipped and spacious theatre, Kiyemba believes they will be able to operate more patients in one day depending on the nature of problem.  

Initially, Kiyemba says, they would refer an average of average 5 patients every week due to lack of enough equipments and space in the theater. 

He further adds that they got special skills from the OI medical team and they can handle various operations and surgeries except for Orthopedic and Neural cases.   

He notes that the hospital used to be overwhelmed with complicated cases, which they would refer due to lack of enough expertise but the job was simplified after the two-week-hands-on training.  

Last year, OI donated medical equipment including an ultra-sound machine, operating room table, anesthesia monitor, EKG machine, patients' monitor, autoclave machine, suction machine, wheel chairs among others non-medical items.   

Several equipments were delivered while others, including an x-ray machine, are still pending.   Apollo Ssansa Kabumbuli II, the Kooki Chiefdom’s head, lobbied for the equipment through Bwowe Children foundation.  

However, the hospital has not had an X-ray machine for the last 20 years after the one they had breaking down. Until now the x-ray room is being used as a store for different items.  

Currently, patients with internal complications, fractures or bone dislocation travel about 12km to Kalisizo hospital to Masaka regional and other private units for the services and then return to Rakai.  

At a private unit, the services range between ugx20,000 and ugx30,000. 

According to Dr. Kiyemba, x-ray reports done outside the hospital are sometimes misleading and may compromise the medical recommendations. END