Residents Protest Closure of Butiaba Health Center III

Health officials in the district closed Butiaba Health Center III last week after failing to secure a place where patients can be treated.
The Submerged Butiaba Health Center III in Buliisa district.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

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Residents of Butiaba sub county in Buliisa district are protesting the closure of Butiaba Health Center III that has hampered health services in the area.

Health officials in the district closed Butiaba Health Center III last week after failing to secure a better place where patients can be treated.

The Health facility was in October last year submerged by floods rising from Lake Albert.As a result, health services at the health facility were then relocated to Butiaba Primary school as pupils were still home due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

The floods submerged staff quarters, maternity, male and female wards, store and the Outpatient Department - OPD among other facilities around the health center. Also submerged were roads leading to the health facility making it difficult for patients to access.

The health centre receives 200 patients a day on average including some who come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

However, following the resumption of classes by semi candidates, medical workers at the health centre found it hard to continue operating at the school yet its former premises are still submerged. They were compelled to close the facility because they lacked space to  accommodate staff and patients.            

Now residents in the area are demanding immediate government intervention to have the facility reopened.

Jackson Rwanswiri, a resident of Butiaba town Council wonders why government has kept silent ever since the closure of the health facility yet people are greatly affected as far as accessing medical services are concerned.

//cue in;”we as citizen…

cue out:…are suffering seriously.”//  

Jane Ajuna, another resident explains that expectant mothers are finding difficulties in accessing antenatal services now that the facility is closed. She adds that most expectant mothers may face problems in the process of giving birth since there is no one to attend to them.

John Babyenda, a resident of Piida also in Butiaba sub county says patients are now forced to travel more than km 20 to 50 to receive treatment at Biiso and Buliisa health facilities respectively and yet many people cannot afford to travel all those distances.

//cue in;”Twe nka bataka…

Cue out:…tuku bonabano hoi.”//  

Dr. Nelson Naisye, the District Health Officer-DHO Buliisa says currently they have no option unless the district comes up with an alternative of getting them space where they can admit and treat patients effectively.

Simon Agaba Kinene, the Buliisa LC5 Chairperson says the district will soon allocate  space where the health facility will be relocated to begin operations. Longino Bahebwa, the Resident District Commissioner - RDC Buliisa says by next week,the district will have got a solution to the problem.   

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