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KEY HEALTH INVESTMENTS LAUNCHED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AT MOROTO REFERRAL HOSPITAL IN KARAMOJA REGION

 

By Goodluck Musinguzi

Unlocking the health potential of the Karamoja region has been boosted with quality infrastructure built by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health. These key facilities added to Moroto Referral Hospital will go a long way to improve on critical care for the people and retain health workers in the region.

Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng led a high-powered delegation that included Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health Services, Munir Safieldin, Ph.D. UNICEF Representative to Uganda and Yonas Tegegn WOLDEMARIAM, World Health Organization Representative to Uganda to launch the infrastructure.

“I was joined by colleagues as we commissioned a new Multidrug-Resistant (MDR)TB ward and a new Maternity ward at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital. This is a step forward in improving health service delivery in the region”, Dr. Aceng said.

Politicians and the donor community have been pushing for the well-being of the people in the Karamoja region. They wanted big investments in the health sector so that a healthy population is able to improve their economic development.

Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health says the TB ward will enhance TB Diagnosis and treatment, as the Maternity ward will boost Maternal health services in the region.

She said health care development in the Karamoja region is attracting a lot of investment from the government of Uganda. We have built state-of-the-art buildings to accommodate staff so that it’s easy to retain health workers.

In the 8th edition of Uganda Human Development Report 2015,  Unlocking the Development Potential of Northern Uganda since 1990, actors in unlocking the economic potential of the region will be judged, not only in terms of how much economic growth is attained but whether this growth has led to substantial improvements in the wellbeing of the people, irrespective of social class and other identities.

Under vote 175 Ministry of Health made Moroto Regional Referral Hospital self-accounting with a budget of shs35.5  billion in 5 years that has helped to run the day-to-day activities. The planned output has improved from 2018 to 2022. Currently, the output is  15,000 Patient Admitted, 85% Bed Occupancy Rate, 4 Days average length of stay, 1,000 Deliveries made, 2,500 Major surgeries done.

80,000 General Out-Patients seen, 30,000 Patients in Out-Patient Special Clinic attended,
150,000 Laboratory and Pathological cases done, 4,000 X-ray examinations done, 5,000 Ultra Sound scans done, 3,000 Blood transfusions done
3,500 Family Planning contacts done, 3,000 Antenatal Attendances, 8,000 Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV,

10,000 People immunized as static service including Vit A, De-worming and tetanus,
5 Hospital Board meetings held, 8 Top Management meetings held, 8 Finance meetings held, 8 Quarterly Reports submitted, 4 OutReach to lower health level units done, Civil works continued, 4 Site meetings conducted, Evaluation of works done, 2 certificates issued, Assorted medical
equipment and furniture and fittings procured

Completing construction of 30 Units of staff accommodation to improve on attraction and retention of staff, Completion of maternity ward construction by July 2020. Strengthen, functionalize and support the community health department

Strengthening of support and technical supervision activities in the lower health facilities in the region.

Strengthening the regional workshop activities in the region through building the capacity of the leadership

Ensuring regional stakeholder meetings take place annually, involving the regional stakeholders.

Attract, recruit and retain more specialists and technical staff. Lobby regional Stakeholders for unfunded priorities like the feeding of patients, operationalization of the Neonatal Care unit
in the region,
Operationalization of the regional Blood distribution center.

Completion of the staff house will address staff accommodation challenges leading to
staff attraction and retention. Relatedly, the construction of a medical ward and the completion of works on the maternity ward structures will be done.

This will contribute to a reduction on infrastructure pressure and overcrowding on the wards thus creating a conducive working environment for staff and at the same time improve quality of care.

Rehabilitation on mortuary, sewerage, and walkways will give a facelift to the hospital.

The wage bill for the acquisition of human capital is critical for quality inclusive, participatory, and accessible specialized regional referral health services to the population. The available wage will cater for recruitment and filling of staffing gaps; the focus will be on specialists whose services are urgently needed.

Ensure most of the resources are allocated to care of Inpatient, Outpatient, and human resource functions which are critical for service delivery To expand and sustain the delivery of high-quality safe services, To scale up promotive, preventive, and surveillance health care services, to attract and retain critical human resources for health, to strengthen the referral systems and collaborate for efficient health care services, to strengthen collaboration and partnership
with other sectors, development partners, institutions, and health care provisions in the region, within and outside the country.

Moroto regional referral Hospital, built in the 1940s is a public referral facility situated in the
northeastern Uganda town of Moroto. It serves the seven districts that comprise the Karamoja subregion, namely Abim, Amudat, Kabong, Kotido, Moroto, Napak and Nakapiripit.
Formerly a general Hospital, Moroto was elevated to Regional Referral Hospital status on 1 July
2009.
The hospital’s catchment population is estimated at about 1.3 million according to the 2012/13
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) projections.
The hospital’s designated bed capacity is about 100 although its actual capacity is 172 beds, and its
planned bed capacity for regional status is 350 beds. Moroto hospital became a regional referral
hospital on July 1, 2009. Moroto Hospital currently supervises the Sub­region’s 112 health
facilities, including two district general hospitals ( kaaboong and Abim) and one PNFP hospital
(Matany), four HCIVs, 30 HC IIs, and 75 Hc IIs.

Moroto hospital­ which opened to the public in 1950­ has made giant strides over the last five years.
He says the hospital’s development Master Plan is ready; its land title has been secured and thanks
to funding from the government and support from private partners, the hospital has over the years
made giant strides in terms of infrastructural development.

With the help of a World Bank loan under the UHSSP project, Moroto regional referral hospital has
been rehabilitated and re­equipped and now boasts of a new out­patient department, 30 staff houses
under the first phase, Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines among other structures.

The hospital has received medical equipment such as refrigerators, auto clavas, furniture and IT equipment. Under the second phase of UHSSP, the hospital got a two­ floor complex consisting of a 50 ­bed surgical ward and a 50 ­bed medical ward.

Another three ­storeyed complex for a 50­bed Maternity Ward, 50­bed Paediatric Ward, an Operating Theatre comprising six operating rooms, a Private Wing, a Pathology Wing, and a Staff house will also be built.

The government is also working to address the lack of blood at the facility by helping the
hospital have access to a regular blood supply. A regional blood collection facility was established in financial year 2014 / 15. This is made operational with support/supervision from Mbale Regional Blood Bank. It has begun on a small scale in a renovated building, the government plans to construct a facility for the regional blood bank in the hospital in the future.

The hospital too has managed to secure funds from the government to secure a mobile medical
equipment workshop. This was made operational n the financial year 2014/15.

Through the Uganda Health System Strengthening Project (UHSSP), a World Bank-funded project,
Moroto Hospital – the only regional referral hospital to benefit – new OPD and Casualty Wings
were recently completed under the first phase of the project.

The environment around the hospital has been improved, a generator house built, and a placenta pit and medical waste pit constructed. A patient attendants’ kitchen and laundry have also been put in place.

 

About Musinguzi Goodluck

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