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Moroto hospital director calls for infrastructure overhaul

Moroto Regional Referral Hospital. File Photo

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dr. Ben Watmon, the director of Moroto Regional Referral Hospital has called for a complete overhaul of the infrastructure and facilities at the hospital, saying it is failing to perform its core duties.

He made the appeal in his presentation to members of the Parliamentary COVID-19 taskforce on the state of affairs at the hospital on Monday.

According to Dr. Watmon, they need a new intensive care unit, saying that they have tried to improvise by setting up beds and ventilators in substandard buildings.

He also noted that several facilities like the main operation theatre, drug stores, surgical and paediatrics wards are in a sorry state. Dr. Watmon says that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the challenges at the hospital.

Dr. Watmon also raised concern about the poor living conditions of medical workers, whom he said live in improvised shelters as opposed to staff quarters. He says that to make matters worse they cannot even find houses to rent.

Moroto Regional Referral Hospital has only 260 of the required 370 staff. However, most of the staff are lower and middle cadres. The facility has five specialists including two gynecologists, one orthopedic, one paediatrician and one ophthalmologist out of the required 30 specialists.

Faith Nakut, the Napak Woman MP, listed some of the gaps at the hospital including among others inadequate infrastructure and staffing levels.

Dr. Charles Ayume, the Koboko Municipality Member of parliament equally decried the challenge of the accommodation and infrastructure at the hospital. He asked the government to consider providing staff accommodations in hard to reach areas.

The MPs are visiting hospitals in Moroto, Abim, Napak and Kotido among others to ascertain the different interventions on COVID-19.

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