Uganda: Telemedicine to be used in Masaka Hospital
By Francis Emorut
Government has earmarked sh10.6b for the construction of women’s and children’s complex equipped with telemedicine at Masaka regional referral hospital in Uganda This will be a great relief to the hospital staff who are trying to cope up with inadequate facilities coupled with influx of patients, the hospital director, Florence Tugumisirize. The director said currently there are only 30 beds for the 150 children admitted daily.
Five children share a bed while maternity ward has only 70 beds to accommodate 100 expectant mothers daily. “The situation is so bad that expectant mothers share beds in the corridors and verandas of the hospital. We are forced to discharge patients within 24 hours and yet they are supposed to be monitored for 72 hours,” Tugumisirize said. Tugumisirize said the problem is compounded by influx of patients from Rwanda and Tanzania in addition to patients from the eight districts that were curved out of Masaka district. she said they can’t turn away because they took an oath to serve all the patients without discrimination. She noted that the hospital grapples with a big number of accident patients since the facility is located along Mbarara-Masaka and Kampala-Masaka highways. The hospital receives over 2, 000 out patients daily while 350 are admitted on daily basis. The director made the remarks during a handover of the site to the contractor.
The new children’s and women’s complex will be equipped with over 400 beds in a five storey building. The construction will be undertaken by Tirupati Development Uganda while the supervisory engineers will be carried by Joadah Consult. Joel Aita the chief executive officer of Joadah Consult explained to the administration staff and the district leaders that the new complex will be equipped with telemedicine where patients would be in direct contact with consultants from Mulago through internet instead of visiting them physically. “With telemedicine in place, it will minimize referral of cases to the national referral hospital,” Aita said.
According to Aita the storey building will comprise of five floors. Three for women and two for the children all equipped with TV systems and internet connection. “We are going to do quality work and we shall complete the project within the specified period of (two years),” Miraj Barot the joint managing director of Tirupati Development Uganda said. He hailed President Yoweri Museveni for peace and security in the country that has attracted investors.The district leaders complained of inadequate health workers and insufficient medical supplies and appealed to area Woman MP, Freda Mubanda to advocate for the increase of staff and drugs. The site was handed over to the contractor in the presence of district leaders by the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Linos Ngompek who urged the contractor to avoid doing shoddy work. Source: http://www.newvision.co.ug/