Patients Go Hungry
By Davidson Ndyabahika
SEEKING INTERVENTION: The acting Director of Makerere University Hospital Dr. Margaret Wandera has written to the director human resources department of Makerere University seeking for more workers to contain the situation at the hospital.
In a letter dated November 30, 2015, Dr. Wandera noted that the hospital which is currently understaffed has no personnel to cater for in-patients meals following the re-designation of cooks and their re-deployment to other units.
“This has led to sick students admitted to hospital not receiving proper meals that would complement management while in our care,” Dr. Wandera said.
According to the students guild report on the situation of University Hospital conducted in July this year, the hospital admits seriously sick patients and during the period January to June 2015 a total number of 231 patients of whom 90% were students, the rest were staff and private patients with most common illnesses of malaria others included asthma, GI infection and pelvic inflammatory diseases.
The health minister of Makerere students’ guild Hon. Brian Esele Atubo has earlier today morning in an interview with The Spy said it was unfortunate that even after long time of submitting report and recommendations, the university hospital still had no one to cook for patients.
“When I ventured in a gathering data about university hospital, I found that patients were always left at the mercy of God and this was an injustice of the highest order. Sick people need food to recover faster,” Minister Esele also a Medical student said.
He added; “Towards the end of last semester, the guild president tried to push it and we were promised that this semester, food will be available, but it’s unfortunate.”
Following the report, the university council members agreed and directed the responsible organs of the university including the vice chancellor to handle the issue with emergency.
Makerere university hospital is the institutional health care provider for Makerere University offering comprehensive health care to the students, staff and their families as well as the surrounding communities serving a population of about 60000 people.
According to the report, the hospital which is guided in its operations by the social affairs committee of the university council provides services including; general out patient care, immunization, dispensing drugs including ARVS, routine medical examination, circumcision, laboratory services, inpatient services/admissions, pediatric care, minor surgery, x-ray and ultra sound services, dental care services, HIV testing and counseling services.
Esele added that the University Hospital has been undergoing numerous challenges including hospital ambulance which he says has been used to other activities.
“Currently the ambulance also works as the hospital administrative car thus not being available all the time as it’s involved in carrying drugs and medical staff to different campuses including Jinja and Kabanyoro,” the minister said.
The Spy has learnt that in 2014, the university restructured after abandoning serving food in halls of residences. Majority of cooks were transformed into cleaners and distributed to various colleges and others retired. Since the restructuring, patients admitted at the University Hospital have been abandoned as there is no arrangement for food yet students continue to pay hospital fees