By Denis Edema
Lack of specialised doctors in lower health centres is one of the causes of a surge in Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) in communities, a health official has said.
Dr. Robert Mutebi, the In-charge of Budondo Health Centre IV, says it is high time authorities think of deploying some specialists to handle challenges of diagnosis in health centre IVs because one person cannot be in position to handle all patients.
“This is a community with a big population and NCDs have increased, especially among the aging population. Hypertension and diabetes, for example, are chronic lifelong illnesses, which are very expensive and take time to be treated,” Dr Mutebi said.
According to Dr. Mutebi, the facility receives about 250 patients daily, but only handles those that they can manage; however, the need for specialised medical personnel to handle dental, heart, kidney, liver, and lung diagnosis is needed to decongest referral hospitals.
Dr. Mutebi added: “Even when such patients are referred to regional hospitals, the specialised doctors are overwhelmed by the number seeking their services.”
Dr. Susan Kikira, a senior consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who has retired from public service, said the number of eye specialists is very few in the country.
Sr Clare Ataliba, a Senior Nursing Officer at the facility, said the Computed Tomography (CT scanner), which was brought to the facility, has been lying idle for the past five years because there is no sonographer to operate it.
For that reason, Sr Ataliba says in most cases, patients who need CT scanner services are told to seek them elsewhere. “Something needs to be done to save the lives of the people,” she added.
The health officials’ statements follow a free three-day medical camp for communities surrounding the power plant in Jinja North Division, Jinja City, organised by Bujagali Energy Limited.
Ms. Stella Barbra Namugenyi, the Bujagali Energy Limited People’s Performance Manager, said the purpose of organising the free medical camp for the people is to assist patients who are in need of treatment but cannot afford to buy drugs after diagnosis by doctors.
“We have donated a maternity ward, some equipment and shall always continue to support the facility where there is need,” Ms. Namugenyi said.
Mr. Ronald Kabeta accompanied his 101-year-old grandfather and World War II veteran, Mr Elizefan Musulo, who was suspected of suffering from Diabetes but tested negative.
According to Mr. Kabeta, his grandfather has been “very strong” but his health started deteriorating after he lost his wife, which health workers in a local clinic diagnosed as “stress”.