Buliisa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has finally kicked off the construction of Butiaba health center III in Buliisa district. In 2020, water submerged the former premises of Butiaba health center III following the rising water levels in Lake Albert.
The floods submerged staff quarters, maternity, male and female wards, store, and the Outpatient Department -OPD among other facilities at the health center. The floods also cut off the roads leading to the health facility making it difficult for patients to access it. Prior to the disaster, the facility would receive between 1,000 to 1,400 patients monthly. Some of the patients would cross from DR Congo.
This prompted the health authorities to relocate the operations of the facility to the former Butiaba sub-county headquarters. Last year, the government set aside Shillings 800million for the construction of the health facility and tasked area residents and area leaders to allocate land.
The government handed over the construction works to the UPDF engineering brigade. However, the work couldn’t start due to the failure of the local leaders to provide land. In March this year, the community in Butiaba town council finally offered 20 acres of land for the construction of Butiaba health center III.
Dr. Nelson Naisye, the Buliisa District Health Officer-DHO told URN in an interview that the construction works for the health facility have commenced and are expected to be completed within six months.
An official from the UPDF Engineering brigade who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity explained that the new health facility will comprise the maternity, male, female and male wards, staff quarters and the Out-patient department-OPD.
The construction of the health facility has excited residents and area leaders. Stephen Mbidi, a resident of Butiaba town council is happy that the construction of the health facility will help boost health services in the area.
Christopher Bagonza, a resident of Butiaba sub-county says that following the floods that submerged the former health facility, they couldn’t access appropriate health services.
Joyce Atimango also a resident says construction of the facility will help reduce the distance of about 30km that they used to trek to Buliisa General hospital to seek antenatal services. Musa Asaba, the Butiaba town council LC3 chairperson is optimistic that after the six months of construction work, the residents will start getting appropriate treatment.
Moses Kaahwa, the in charge of the health facility says the current space where they are operating from is small, adding that staff are compelled to share rooms due to the lack of staff quarters. According to Kaahwa, they have resorted to treating patients under tents due to lack of space.