Lira , Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Patients in need of X-ray services at Lira Regional Referral hospital are stuck following the closure of the X-ray unit by the International Atomic Energy Council-IAEC leakage of radiation. The council is mandated to regulate the peaceful application of ionizing radiation, protection and safety of radioactive sources.
A source at the facility told URN that the X-ray unit was closed on October 15th, 2020 because the radiation from the X-ray machine was exposing the operators to danger. According to medical experts, without regular inspection, radiations can cause cancer and other health hazards to people exposed to it. Apparently, all patients in need of X-ray services are being referred to private health facilities.
The Hospital Director, Dr. Stephen Oboo declined to speak to our reporter on the matter. However, the acting Lira District Health Officer, Dr. Edmond Aceka confirmed to URN in a telephone interview the closure of the X-ray unit, saying it has greatly affected health service delivery at the facility.
“Yes, it is true the X-ray service was suspended. Currently, we are referring patients to some private facilities in town. However, the machine will be fixed soon. The hospital biomedical engineer is fixing the problem within the shortest time possible,’’ he said.
Records at Lira Referral Hospital indicate that more than 200 people from the nine districts of Lango region visit the X-ray unit each week for X-ray services. Robert Okidi, a resident of Alany cell in Aduku Town Council in Kwania district, says private facilities charge between Shillings 35,000- 40,000 for x-ray services, which is costly.