AUTHORITIES in the newly created district of Luuka are struggling to keep Kiyunga health centre IV in operation amidst lack of medical personnel and equipment.
Officials at the unit that serves as the biggest health care point in the district said the operation theatre has been out of use since the departure of the only medical doctor last year.
Frank Bikaba, a clinician, said all patients who require operation are referred to Iganga hospital, which is 25km away and costly for most residents.
According to statistics, the unit receives over 150 patients per day, with most of the cases involving women with delivery complications.
â€œThe doctor went for greener pastures and left us in a dilemma. Patients have to be referred and yet the ambulance we had was grounded for being in a dangerous mechanical condition,â€ Bikaba said.
The situation was recently saved by the area MP-elect, John Bagoole, who donated a Toyota Noah van to act as an ambulance.
Bikaba said the unit also lacked an anesthetic assistant, nurses and other support staff.
He said they were to launch medical male circumcision as an HIV intervention in May, while awaiting the appointment of a doctor for other operations.
The LC5 chairman, Samuel Kakyada, said it was difficult to retain doctors at the unit because they consider the area remote.
He said the district administration was planning to introduce financial incentives to attract and retain medical personnel.
Kakyada said at least sh200m was required to upgrade the unit to a full hospital.
He said a proposal had been submitted to the Government for consideration.
New Luuka district lacks medical staff