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Mbale city, Tororo and Busia operating without ambulances

An ambulance in northern Uganda. Eastern region’s main towns are struggling without one

Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Districts in Eastern Uganda are operating without ambulances.

The ambulances in Mbale, Busia, Tororo and Kapchorwa are grounded over lack of funds for repair while others are beyond repair, forcing medical officials to rely on ambulances donated by well-wishers who include politicians and Non-Governmental Organisations- NGOs.

Jonathan Wangis, the Mbale district Health Officer, says that the ambulances that the hospital had 18 years ago were all grounded. He says that the absence of ambulances at both the regional hospital and the district health Center IVs has grappled emergency health services in the region.

At Kapchorwa Hospital, the ambulance has been grounded in the garage since February.

“It can hardly move a complete journey from Kapchorwa to Mbale and return because of its bad condition, It requires overhauling because it has over lived its life span” Dr Ayubu Wangubo of Kapchorwa hospital.

John Okea, the Tororo District Speaker says that the district has only one ambulance which has served for over 25 years but is grounded.

Dr Willis Syongola the acting Busia District Health Officer says that the absence of an ambulance has affected COVID-19 activities.

He said after people testing positive for Covid-19, they are left to wait for more than two days for an ambulance from the regional hospital.

Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital Director says that the hospital ambulance was involved in an accident and was written off.  He said they have a Covid-19 surveillance ambulance which is supposed to pick only Covid19 positive cases across the region.

Tugaineyo says that the Ministry of Health has promised to provide a new ambulance for the hospital.

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