The ongoing renovation works at Mulago National Referral Hospital have worsened congestion and compromised the hygiene situation there. On Saturday night, URN visited the casualty ward and found most of the patients lying on the floor as part of block B had been cordoned off with plywood to pave way for renovation works.
The toilets were flooded with water and were smelly because they don’t flush. Worse still, the toilets were being shared by male and female patients and their care takers. At around 10 pm, Francis Ssentongo was brought in by his brother with a fractured leg and skull following an accident. Due to lack of sufficient beds, Ssentongo was given space in the cordoned extension and his brother was told to hold his drip.
Mary Kansiime, a student of Dream Land secondary school was also brought in after she was involved in accident during a netball match. Kansiime was forced to spend a night with her mother on the floor due to lack of space. Another patient, who came in at around 11am had her drip on a wheel chair. She later complained to her caretakers about back pain because of her sitting posture.
Unlike most of the other wards, all patients have to carry mosquito nets along with them. However, because most of the patients come from upcountry, they don’t have mosquito nets. The hospital administrators had told URN in December last year that patients would be relocated to Kawempe and Kiruddu hospitals in mid-February this year once they are completed and ready for occupancy.
However, the relocation plans hit a snag since the hospitals are not ready. Enock Kusasira, the spokesperson Mulago National Referral Hospital told URN in a telephone interview that the congestion is caused by the renovation works at the hospital where some wards have completely been closed.
“We have been trying to talk to KCCA to complete Kiruddu and Kawempe hospitals such that we can relocate the patients but this has been delayed. But we are trying our best to ensure that the limited space we have is used by patients because we cannot throw them away…”