Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health is calling on the leaders in Karamoja to collaborate with Moroto Regional Referral Hospital for solutions to address health challenges.
Moroto hospital came into the spotlight after the death of two mothers within a space of one week who underwent cesarean births at the facility. The failed cesarean births caused public outcry as the leaders called for a comprehensive investigation into the causes of death at the facility.
The leaders also accused the doctors for being negligent and unprofessional while executing their duties.
In the turn of events, Faith Nakut, the woman Member of Parliament for Napak district, tasked Parliament to investigate the increasing number of deaths in the hospital while giving birth. Nakut told the parliamentarians that at least 12 mothers have died due to failed C-sections at Moroto hospital in the last three months.
Francis Adome, the Member of Parliament for Moroto Municipality said that they have in the recent past witnessed an increasing number of maternal deaths in the hospital.
Adome noted that the mothers who come from the villages are more affected because less attention is given to them at the health facilities. He said that several mothers die and no one picks interest to understand the cause of death as many go unreported.
Stella Atyang, the woman Member of Parliament for Moroto district noted that there has been a lot of negative news spread in the public about the ill services at the health facility. Atyang said she also learnt the concerns from the public about the newly deployed medical interns who are attending to patients without closed supervision.
She said that the delay in attending to patients, reckless handling of patients among others are some of the issues now distancing the public from acquiring services in the hospital.
Meanwhile, in a report presented by the hospital administration for the referral hospitals generated nationally, Moroto hospital had three maternal deaths and 52 prenatal deaths between the months of June 2023 and December 2023, which is contrary to what was presented before the floor of Parliament.
Dr. John Ngorok, the hospital board member in charge of quality assurance, said that the leaders have been spreading wrong information to the public and inciting people to shun the services.
Ngorok said that the hospital name has been maligned with wrong information and the leaders should consider building back the trust in the public. He urged the local leaders to always seek the information from the hospital management in case they want it for public consumption.
Dr. Stephen Pande, the Moroto Regional Referral Hospital Director said that they are struggling to attract the doctors and specialists because of the unfavorable working environment.
Pande noted that some of the available medical officers are also threatening to leave and so far ten staff have submitted their transfer forms to his office for approval. He said that the hospital is currently faced by human resource gaps that have resulted in the low performances at lower facilities.
Pande urged the local leaders to be the ambassadors of change and collaborate with all sectors for the betterment of health services offered to people. He also added that the health workers are living in fear as they continue receiving threats from both the local leaders and the armed warriors who are hunting for them. He revealed that in the last week, the warriors had attempted to attack the hospital staff and doctors were forced to spend a night in the offices.
Justin Tuko, the Moroto deputy Resident District Commissioner observed that there is lack of supervision among the health workers during their time of duty.
Tuko noted that this has created a gap in delivering quality services and the major tasks have been assigned to the intern doctors.
He urged the health workers to strengthen the spirit of team work and unity to be able to drive the workforce diligently.
Tuko warned the health workers to desist from internal fights among themselves but instead concentrate on serving the community as per their profession.
However, Dr. Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health said that the leaders should intervene and provide solutions whenever the hospital is faced with challenges instead of lamenting.
Atwine called upon the leaders to support the hospital by preaching the good services offered at the facility rather than pin pointing a few incidents to spoil the image of the hospital. She said that there is a need to work together and sensitize the public so that all the factors leading to death at the health facilities are addressed.
Atwine said that the Ministry is committed to ensuring that better health services are delivered to the people but the leaders have always kept frustrating the medical staff. She stressed that the hospital is losing good doctors due to the intimidation by local leadership and concentration on attending to the patients
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