BY STEPHEN OJACOR
KATAKWI: TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2021
The Vice President Rtd. Maj. Jessica Alupo has intervened to support the Katakwi hospital and the district Covid-19 task-force in a bid to promote quality maternal healthcare and fight the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, the Vice President visited the mothers admitted at Katakwi hospital maternity ward where she was briefed about the challenges faced by the north-eastern hospital.
They include lack of ambulance, the small size of the maternity ward, shortage of admission beds and lack of intensive care unit for neonatal unit. The hospital theatre only has one bed yet it serves patients from the male ward, female ward, children’s ward and maternity ward.
Gilbert Ongalo, the Katakwi district health officer said that because of these challenges, Katakwi was losing about four mothers to maternal death during delivery every month.
Katakwi hospital serves as a referral centre for cases coming as far as Karamoja sub-region and majority of Teso.
Maj. Alupo promised to engage the ministry of health to urgently find a way of addressing the needs of the hospital and consider a general rehabilitation of the facility so as to improve healthcare services for the people.
She noted that the current maternal mortality rate in Uganda, standing at 336 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and infant mortality of 43 deaths per 1,000 live births, is still high.
She however assured the people that the government is working towards bringing these figures further down by strengthening grassroots health facilities.
As a short-term measure, Maj. Alupo delivered 600 pieces of mama-kits and 49 beds and 50 medical mattresses with two pairs of bed sheets per bed to be used in the Katakwi hospital maternity ward.
To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, Maj. Alupo gave 21,600 face masks, 100 bottles of sanitizers, 1,000 bottles of Covidex herbal medicine, ten 100-sitter tents and two oxygen oximeters.
Additionally, the Vice President provided 10,000 kilograms of maize flour and 100 kilograms of sugar to the district Covid-19 task-force and 40 tons of maize seeds to support farmers in Katakwi.
The District LC 5 chairman, Geoffrey Omolo thanked Maj. Alupo for her contribution saying it will go a long way in saving lives of the people and also promoting livelihoods.
He requested the Vice President to engage the health ministry to recruit more staff for Katakwi, pointing out that the entire district operates with 65% of medical workers, leaving a deficit of 35%.