Lack of beds, Ambulance crippling maternal services in Anaka General Hospital

NWOYA – Anaka General Hospital in Nwoya district is struggling with lack of delivery beds in its maternity ward. Currently, the hospital only has 2 delivery beds with a 200 monthly delivery and an average of 8 deliveries a daily.

Jolly Joe Lapat, the Hospital Administrator, Anaka General Hospital says, the challenge of delivery beds has persisted for close to two years now.

He notes that they have also been struggling with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) because there’s no specific special delivery bed for them, a factor which he says has frustrated many expectant mothers from going for their deliveries at the facility.

“We only have two delivery beds at the maternity ward, no special bed for expectant mothers, yet we have on average of 8 deliveries daily, meaning the six or so have to deliver on the floors, which is disturbing especially at a general hospital,” Lapat observes.

According to Lapat, they need at least 200 beds at the maternity ward to help with deliveries, gynaecological issues among others.

Lapat further notes that, their referral system has also been crippled by the lack of sound and effective ambulances. Currently, Nwoya district has only one ambulance which is also in a poor mechanical condition.

“We have a big challenge with referrals because the whole district has only one ambulance which should respond to accidents, complications and other emergencies which sometimes occur at the same time making it so difficult. The only ambulance that we have is also under a very dangerous mechanical condition,” Lapat notes.

Judith Acan Peace, the Nwoya district Woman MP says, the lack of facilities is not only affecting the general hospital, but also other facilities at Koch Lii and Lungulu don’t have lights, forcing the health workers to use their torches during delivery on the floor because they don’t have delivery beds.

“Most of our facilities don’t have the basic equipment like beds, lights among others which has really affected the turn up of people in accessing services in the various health centers and the general hospital,” Acan says.

According to Acan, several of the pregnant mothers have had a bad experience delivering at the general hospital. The various health facilities have contacted her seeking financial support to transport them to neighboring Gulu City’s, St Mary’s Hospital Lacor and Gulu Regional Referral Hospital (GRRH). She notes that she has also recently donated an ambulance to the district to help bridge the gap which is not efficient.

“I have received several calls from people within the district seeking for financial and logistical support to take especially the pregnant women to hospitals in Gulu City because our people have lost trust and are not receiving the desired health services in our facilities. I have taken it upon myself to lobby to well-wishers and also the government so that the condition in our facilities is improved. We don’t want to see our mothers opting for traditional birth attendants because they are more accessible and risk their lives and their babies at the end,” says Acan.

Janet Oola, the Nwoya District Health Officer (DHO) says they have reported the matter to the health ministry but have not received any response. Efforts to reach Minister of Health’s, Jane Ruth Aceng or Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ministry of Health were all futile as none of them responded to our numerous phone calls.

Nwoya district has a population projection of 236,000 with 1 general hospital, 11 health centers including IIs and IIIs.

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