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Residents Demand Reopening of Apaa Health Center II

The Health Center was closed three years ago following a dispute between the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and residents over ownership of the land hosting the health Centre.
Women in Apaa say they cannot access health services

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The continued closure of Apaa Health Centre II in the contested Apaa Township is leading to loss of lives.

Apaa Health Centre II is the only health facility serving approximately 26,000 people from Gaji, Acholi Ber, Coro, Luru, Punu Dyang, Juka, Alony, Kal Acut, Aker and Oyanga villages among others.  

However, it was closed three years ago following a dispute between the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and residents over ownership of the land hosting the health Centre. 

To date, residents are trekking more than 20 kilometers to seek health services in Lacor Health Centre III in Pabbo Town Council in Amuru district, Gulu Main Hospital and St Mary`s Hospital Lacor in Gulu Town.  

However local leaders in the area say that due to lack of the proper health services and distant better health facilities some of the people in the area have resorted to self-medication or no treatment at all which has caused the loss of lives.  

The recent victim is Abdul Komakech, a father who lost his two newly born twin girls last Friday.   

Komakech says that his wife had delivered two days ago with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant but the babies later developed difficulties in breathing and passed on two days later before they could travel for medical attention to the nearest Lacor Health Centre III in Pabbo Town Council.  

Wilson Acuma, a local leader in the area, says that the situation has worsened due to the coronavirus disease lockdown measures that led to an increase in public transport fares and economic hardships.  

He disclosed that two other people, one a 28-year-old man identified as Komakech and another eight-year-old girl also died last week from the area due to undiagnosed health complications.

Concy Atoo, a resident of Punu Dyang has pleaded with the government to reopen Apaa Health Centre II noting that it is the easiest facility to access.   

Albert Ocaya, another resident of Apaa noted that the government should treat the lives of the people more than the contestation over the land hosting the facility.  

Geoffrey Apollo Okello the Amuru District Secretary for Health acknowledged the problems in the area but disclosed that the Apaa health Centre II will be opened next week following a committee constituted by parliament to investigate the nature of problems in the area and identify solutions.

Earlier last year Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo the Amuru District Health Officer said that Apaa Health Centre II will be relocated from the contested area, saying the raging conflict has affected its operation.

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