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Rising Patient Numbers, Declining Facilities dog Jinja Hospital :: Uganda Radionetwork

Rising Patient Numbers, Declining Facilities dog Jinja Hospital

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Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, the biggest public hospital in the greater eastern Uganda, does not have the basic equipment and drugs for patients.
The hospital has been hit by a scarcity of malaria drugs, antibiotics and medicine for children. Nurses and doctors do not have surgical gloves and sometimes injections are in short supply.
Joyce Kizza, a nurse at the Jinja Hospital maternity wards, says patients are required to buy almost everything needed for their treatment. She says most of the patients do not have the money to buy gloves and drugs and often nurses are forced to purchase supplies from their own pockets.
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The shortage of medical supplies doesn't only affect emergency and maternal services at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. The hospital's eye clinic hosts an average of 150 patients everyday from the Busoga region and the rest of the country. With the great demand, drugs run out by midday.
Phoebe Matende, Principal Ophthalmic Officer at the hospital, says the problem is in the lack of understanding about the role of a referral hospital. She explains that the hospital is intended to serve only complex cases that cannot be handled by minor hospitals and health centers. However today everyone with simple illnesses demands treatment from Jinja.
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Sophia Nabisenke visited Jinja Regional Referral Hospital to get treatment for her son. After waiting for half an hour, they were granted audience with a doctor. However, Nabisenke says that is where the treatment stopped. She had to look outside the hospital for drugs for her son.
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John Kizito, senior drugs dispenser at Jinja Hospital, says medicine like Septrin syrup, Ceftriaxione and Amoxyl are not available at the hospital. He says the situation is made worse because of the shortage of drugs for children.
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The Senior Hospital Administrator of Jinja Hospital, Simon Kisabagire, blames the National Medical Stores for his woes. He says the stores do not deliver drugs on time and when they do, the quantity of the drugs is insufficient.
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Jinja Hospital has about 400 medical staff and interns. It admits an average of 800 patients a day.

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