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MPs honor medics, decry poor state of Soroti Hospital

Parliament has this afternoon honoured a 15-member medical team of Soroti Regional Referral hospital, for successfully conducting a surgery involving the separation of a dead from a live Siamese twin.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Parliament has this afternoon honoured a 15-member medical team of Soroti Regional Referral hospital, for successfully conducting a surgery involving the separation of a dead from a live Siamese twin.

The surgery took place in Soroti, six days after the baby was referred to Mulago National Referal Hospital for tertiary care only to be referred back without help. By that time, the dead baby was decomposing and the team headed by Dr Joseph Epodoi, a senior consultant Surgeon conducted a surgery that lasted 15 hours and saved the baby who shared parts with a dead sister.

Kasilo county MP Elijah Okupa who moved the motion to pay tribute to the team said the surviving twin can now smile and pass urine, 12-days after surgery. However, he added that the hospital only operates at 40 per cent of its capacity and asked that it’s rehabilitated and equipped.

The MPs also asked that government institutes a mechanism to leverage the skills of the health workers to further enhance the health sector with a bigger vision of medical tourism in the region. Oseku Richard Oriebo, the Kibale County MP who seconded the motion, recommended that the medics are awarded medals at the upcoming heroes day in June. 

He, however, noted that to further strengthen the hospital and to enable it to conduct such and other complicated surgeries, there’s a need to expand the theatre since the hospital is slowly setting itself apart in care having recently successfully helped a woman deliver a baby that had been implanted on the liver.

The call by politicians came in shortly after medical workers under the Uganda Medical Association pointed out that regional referral hospitals are grossly understaffed and don’t have basic equipment they would need to cut down on referrals to the national hospitals.

They for instance said that Soroti Hospital has no High Dependency Unit where people in the critical state are monitored from and basic diagnostic equipment like a CT scan that would make it easier for medics to quickly detect infection or when conducting surgeries. This was acknowledged by the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, noting that most health facilities are only giving prescription without treatment. 

Meanwhile, several people tuned to local radio stations in Soroti to follow Parliamentary proceedings as MPs paid tribute to the team. By 2:00 pm, several residents had secured convenient places to enable them to listen and watch the parliamentary proceedings. At Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, the staff caught up with plenary in rooms which have televisions in the hospital. 

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said that the names of the medics will be submitted to the national medal awards committee for consideration. Plenary is still on.   

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