Kawempe Hospital has only two functional operating theatres out of ten
Speaker Kadaga signing a commitment to advocate for more funding for fighting pre-enclapsia at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Photo by Violet Nabatanzi
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has called for investigations into the construction of Kawempe and Kiruddu hospitals.
Kadaga learnt that Kawempe Hospital has only two functional operating theatres out of ten, the ceilings were leaking, and in addition, both facilities have no sewer line among others.
“These are new facilities which were built two years back to decongest Mulago. You deliver 100 mothers and you only have two theatres; this should be a matter of investigation,’’ Kadaga said.
Kadaga learnt this after Members of Parliament on the health committee were presenting a report on the status of Kawempe Hospital. The committee during the commemoration of World Pre-Eclampsia Day on Tuesday toured the facility and witnessed the challenges faced by the health workers.
Last year Iganga Woman MP, Grace Hailat Kaudha, 30, succumbed to pre-eclampsia at Mulago National Referral Hospital when she was five months pregnant.
According to health workers at Kawempe Hospital, between 80 and 100 mothers deliver from the facility on a daily basis.
Speaking during the policymakers’ meeting at Sheraton Hotel on Friday, Kadaga said Parliament is going to get stricter in auditing ministries.
“We should not just see how much money has gone, but what exactly has it brought and how is it going to impact the health of people. We need to tighten the rules on gender and equity compliance. We need to audit because in many instances things are not moving as they should,” she said.
The MPs also observed that there was a lack of foetal monitors for mothers with pre-eclampsia and limited space for mothers suffering from the condition.
The chairperson of parliament’s health committee, Dr Michael Bukenya, said they will present a report on the status of Kawempe Hospital next week before plenary.
Presenting the status of pre-eclampsia condition in Mulago Hospital, the challenges and successes in case management, Dr Evelyn Nabunya, the head of the facility, said more expectant mothers are dying due to pre-eclampsia and its complications.
She said the rate of maternal mortality at Mulago Hospital has increased from 20.7% in 2016 to 23.6% in 2017. In Uganda, 336 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes per 100,000 live births.
Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both mother and the unborn baby. It affects at least 5-8 % of all pregnancies.
Nabunya said that last year alone they registered about 903 cases at the facility.
She pointed out that sometimes they face a challenge of drug stock-outs, especially for key drugs like magnesium sulphate which is used to manage pre-eclampsia, and that the facility is faced with the challenge of limited laboratories to monitor the progress of mothers with the condition.
On the issue of stock-out of magnesium sulphate, Kadaga said Parliament needs to make sure that money is available for drugs.
The head of obstetrics and gynaecologists at Makerere University and Mulago Hospital, Dr Annett Nakimuli, attributed an increase of pre-eclampsia cases to increased cases of referrals, adding that most of the health workers in other facilities have no skills to manage the condition.
The executive director of Coalition for Health Promotions and Social Development, Denis Kibira, called for increased funding for maternal health particularly for medicines and equipment to manage pre-eclampsia, through health systems advocacy partnership.
He also requested for funding to train health workers to adequately manage the condition.