Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Lack of delivery beds at Entebbe Hospital leaves MPs in shock

By Vaseline May31,2024
Lack of delivery beds at Entebbe Hospital leaves MPs in shock

Members of Parliament serving on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were shocked when it emerged that the Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital does not have one delivery bed.

Officials of the hospital, led by Dr. John Bosco Nsubuga, the acting director, and Richard Tumwesigye, the senior hospital administrator, appeared before the committee on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, to respond to questions in the Auditor General’s report for the closed financial year. June 30, 2023.

The vice-chairman of the committee, Mr. Gorreth Namugga and other MPs were shocked by the Auditor General’s revelation that a hospital in an urban part of the country had no delivery bed for mothers and only two incubators for premature babies.

The Auditor General noted that the maternity ward of the Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital is operating without delivery beds while the surgical recovery bed has been improvised to deliver an average of 20 children per day.
“The accounting officer explained that while the Entebbe maternity unit delivers an average of 650 women per month, equivalent to 4,287 deliveries per year, the unit is grossly underfunded with a ceiling of about Shs200 million. This amount is insufficient to purchase new or additional medical equipment, or even repair it,” the Auditor General said in his report.

Namugga wondered how mothers gave birth without the beds. She also blamed the women who worked at the facility for their inability to influence policy and ensure the facility had a birthing bed.
“Mothers here, how can Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital fail to have at least one delivery bed? The accountant notes that this contributed to the hospital’s mortality rate. Director, where are you taking your wife to give birth? Can you take your wife to such a place to give birth?” she said.

Ibanda County North Member of Parliament, Hon. Xavier Kyooma said while the government procures the beds, it is the hospital’s responsibility to demonstrate the need. He also ordered the hospital management to demonstrate that they have regularly contacted the Ministry of Health regarding the bed issue.

The hospital administrator, Tumwesigye, said when the facility was used as a treatment center for COVID-19, they used a lot of chemicals for spraying which caused corrosion of many equipment including delivery beds.
“When they became a hazard, we removed them and unfortunately we cannot replace them due to the inadequate budget. That is why we are using the surgical recovery bed, and we look forward to getting funding to purchase state-of-the-art delivery beds,” he said.

When the Deputy Chairman inquired about the cost of the beds, the Hospital Director, Nsubuga, stated that they cost between Shs1.2 million and Shs3.8 million.

This left lawmakers wondering why fundraising has not been organized, especially if there are delays at the ministry.

Nsubuga added that they have engaged the Ministries of Health and Finance several times to ensure that the hospital is provided with delivery beds.
“We have also engaged other stakeholders such as the Rotary Club of Entebbe and Save the Children, and are lobbying for assistance in key areas such as theater and maternal and child health interventions,” he said.
. He also told the committee that they have applied for funds to purchase at least 12 delivery beds for the coming financial year.

The committee also accused the hospital of having only two incubators. According to the Auditor General, this has affected the quality of healthcare and is an inherent risk contributing to infant mortality.
“I noticed that the Referral Hospital has two incubators for 4,287 annual deliveries, with babies in critical conditions often sharing incubators, contrary to standard specifications as designed by the manufacturers. Please refer to the tables below,” the report reads.

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