By Faustine Odeke
THE state minister for primary health care Sarah Achieng Opendi has directed Tororo district leadership to refocus the primary health care (PHC) funds towards improving the condition of the existing hospitals and stop building health center II’s.
Achieng, who was accompanied by the director general of health services (DGHS) Jane Ruth Aceng during the tour of Tororo hospital on Friday, was shocked by the appalling condition of the male and children wards and medical store.
“Why should you build a health center II which is going to turn into a white elephant using PHC funds yet they are potholes in the wards which can turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and jiggers? Please I advise you to refocus this funds to address such issues” Achieng said.
Achieng also condemned the dilapidated staff quarters roofed with asbestos saying government is currently in negotiations with some development partners to secure funds for the renovation of 25 hospitals and medical staff quarters by 2014.
She advised the hospital management to invest in water harvesting technology to minimize the water bills.
The minister who was irked by the bushy medical quarters promised to return before December 20th to clear the bushes at the quarters. She wondered how medical workers can stay in such an environment that had turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and snakes.
The medical store that the minister said was suited for goat raring. Photo by Faustine Odeke
She urged the hospital administration to give out ‘mama kits’ to mothers after delivery and not when they report for antenatal clinic as is the practice.
Aceng congratulated the hospital for its cleanliness and smartness of the staff as she appealed to the staff to treat the patients with a lot of compassion. She advised the administration to come up with infection control measure especially in wards with potholes.
Aceng described the dilapidated medical store as fit for raring goats and not keeping drugs while warning the pharmacist against reporting shortages of drugs when the drugs are still in their stores.
Aceng directed the members of the hospital board to stop interfering with the work of the medical personnel.
Her directive followed the deteriorating performance of the quality assurance of the hospital where the hospital has been a model example.
The hospital has been implementing the 5S-CQ1 (sorting, setting, shining, standardizing and sustaining) approach of quality performance under support from Japanese International cooperation agency (JICA) since 2007 but the performance started deteriorating in March 2012.