Namuwongo residents decry lack of drugs in KCCA clinic

Mar 31, 2017

The director, public health and environment, KCCA, Dr. David Seruka confirmed that the problem of shortage of drugs is not only in Kisugu clinic but all KCCA clinics.

Residents of Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb and its surrounding areas have pleaded with government to increase supply of drugs in Kisugu health clinic run by Kampala Capacity City Authority (KCCA) to meet their medical needs.

They noted that they are low income earners and cannot afford to pay for treatment in private hospitals or clinics, yet when they visit the clinic (Kisugu), they are given either insufficient drugs or told no drugs and advised to buy from other clinics.

Duncan Balaaza, 26, a Go down resident said the place easily floods; the hygiene of the people is very poor, making them prone to diseases like malaria, typhoid but getting drugs at the clinic is hard.

"The times I have been to this clinic, I have never got enough medication; doctors gave me few drugs and asked me to buy more from other clinics. But I could not afford, after taking what I was given, I gave up on treatment," he said.

Mubale Nzalambi, a village health team (VHT) leader in Namuwongo said lack of drugs in Kisugu is the biggest challenge residents are grappling with, adding that many of them have confided in him to talk to authorities concerned.

"We pay taxes and it is fair that government provides enough drugs for different illnesses in the clinic so that our people get sufficient treatment for complete recovery," he said.

On the other hand, Evelyn Namutebi, 21, resident of Kanyogoga said most areas in the slums especially rentals lack toilets, and people who cannot afford to pay sh200 for public toilets defect in the open, increasing the risk of disease outbreak like cholera and typhoid.

She pleaded with leaders in the division to sensitize residents on the dangers of defecating in the open, build more latrines in congested places like markets as well as ask landlords in the slums to construct toilets for their tenants.

They raised their concerns during a health outreach organized by International Hospital Kampala (IHK) in partnership with International Medical Foundation (IMF) to commemorate World Tuberculosis day held at Namuwongo transit ground recently.

Over 300 people turned up for free HIV/AIDs, TB, malaria, and blood pressure testing services and medication.

Lydia Athocon, medical clinical officer, TB clinic at IHK said in Kampala alone, the burden of TB is at 80% due to high population, but poor health seeking habits, multi-drug resistance are still major challenges in elimination of TB.

She advised for early TB screening as long as the cough persists for more than two days, adding that most Ugandans seek for treatment when the cough is chronic and this comes with extended treatment period which is costly.

The director, public health and environment, KCCA, Dr. David Seruka acknowledged that the problem of shortage of drugs is not only in Kisugu clinic but all KCCA clinics.

He explained that the clinics are stretched by the high population which is way above the capacity of drugs the national medical stores (NMS) provides them quarterly.

"While providing drugs, NMS plans for 1.5m patients per clinic. However, the number of patients that seek for treatment at these clinics more than doubles, patients from beyond Kampala come to these clinics for treatment, explaining why drugs are never enough or why sometimes, there is a drug shortage," he said.

He said to deal with this challenge, KCCA clinics need to be upgraded to hospital status so that their budgets are increased to cater for ever increasing population.

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