By Norman Katende
Ugandan patients are being referred to Kenya’s Kitale Hospital due to the bad state of the roads that connect Bukwo to health facilities in Kapchorwa or Mbale.
Although the road to Kitale is equally in a sorry state, it takes a patient on average less than two hours to get there.
According to Dr. Loker Rosalba, the medial superintendent and only doctor at Bukwo Hospital, about eight people are referred to Kitale Hospital, which has better medical facilities.
“But it is only for those cases that we cannot handle here, involving for instance a CT scan. We always ask the sick to choose a hospital they would like to go to for further help but most of them choose Kitale.
Most of them have families across and they find no problem with that,” said Rosalba.
“It is good that the staff at Kitale also understand the situation we are in. We exchange ideas and they also write back whenever they treat a patient,” she said.
Rosalba added that Bukwo hospital lacks an ambulance as the one they had broke down.
She said they have resorted to using a double-cabin pick-up truck which belongs to the district health department to transfer critically ill patients to the referral centre.
Rosalba said those who are not bedridden use public means like lorries in case they are travelling to Kapchorwa or taxis if they are going to Mbale Hospital.
“It is also about providing facilities to see that we extend the lives of these people.
We only use what we have. It is good that the community understands this,” she said.
Rosalba said the hospital caters for a population of 85,000.