MASAKA. Bukeeri Health Centre III in Buwunga Sub-county, Masaka District is facing a drug shortage, which local leaders say has paralysed operations at the facility.
Although the facility handles between 80 and 100 patients –both in-patient and out-patient every day, it has not received drugs for nearly three months.
According to Mr Julius Kiweewa, the officer in-charge of the health centre, they last received medicines for treating common diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, and hypertension in November last year.
“The major service we are offering to our patients now is advisory and prescribing medicines, which they must go and buy from private health units around this area,” Mr Kiweewa said yesterday.
Mr Kiweewa said apart from a drug shortage, the facility also lacks electricity.
He said patients are forced to come along with mobile telephones with torches, which are used to provide light to the medical workers on duty at night.
Bukeeri Health Centre serves more than 12 villages with some patients coming from as far as Kisogero and Kyabumba in Buwunga Sub-county to access services.
Mr Deo Settuba, who heads the village health team operating in the area served by Bukeeri Health Centre III, said currently, they do not have even the basic medication such as anti-malarial drugs to give out to children below the age of five.
When contacted, the district health officer, Dr Stuart Musisi, said he was aware of the drug shortage at the health centre and promised that the problem would be addressed.
Meanwhile, the Germany-based Allen Foundation through Kabaka’s representative in Katwe/Butego Division, Jude Muleke, together with the District Woman MP Mary Babirye Kabanda, has donated an assortment of items to support health services delivery at the facility.
They include beds, mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, a 10,000- litre water tank, blood pressure machines, a motorcycle, and two solar panels powering five bulbs each. Buwunga Sub-county chairperson Francis Kimuli applauded the Foundation for the gesture.
According to a June 2015 report by the Budget and Monitoring and Accountability Unit of Ministry of Finance, more than 90 per cent of public health facilities reported non-supply of ordered medical items, including drugs and stationery in 2014.