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All About Lights

Staff decry poor state of Anaka Hospital buildings

… broken windows and glasses. The lighting system is poor,” Dr Ariki said …

Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue

Turco Hilsaca

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Health workers at Anaka Hospital in Anaka Town, Nwoya District,  have expressed concern over the dilapidated state of structures at the facility.

Dr Joseph Ariki, the hospital’s medical superintendent, said some hospital staff have abandoned the facility’s staff quarters.

“Most key structures here are dilapidated, some blocks have broken windows and glasses. The lighting system is poor,” Dr Ariki said on Monday.

He cited the general ward, the administration block and the general stores, among the buildings in urgent need of renovation.

At the hospital’s staff quarters, a fraction of the health workers are now being housed in makeshift houses made of iron sheets while others commute from outside the facility.

“The staff who rent outside the hospital arrive at work late. For those working at night, their security is at risk. We have had scenarios where our staff are attacked and robbed while coming to the hospital to handle emergencies or while returning home from night duty,” Dr Ariki said.

Ms Stella Grace Awor, a nursing officer-in-charge of the hospital’s theatre, who lives outside the facility, said she had been attacked by thugs three times.

“When I came here, there was no housing unit, so I rented outside, but I have been robbed three times. I risk coming to work if there is an emergency because we should not lose a life,” she said.

Mr Innocent Oneka, the hospital administrator, said the accommodation crisis has demoralised the health workers, which has negatively impacted on service delivery.

“Among those accommodated at the quarters, some are sharing their private rooms where a one-room unit accommodates two or three staff. Others rent houses from as far as 3kms or 4kms and that has got a huge bearing on their performance in terms of response to emergencies,” Mr Oneka said.

Of the 154 staff that the hospital has, Mr Oneka said 120 are accommodated within the quarters while the rest commute from outside the premises.

Intervention

In March 2018, Mr Samuel Okot Obonyo, the district health officer, said the housing dilemma of the hospital worsened when a storm blew off the roof of a 12-unit staff house.

TotalEnergies came to the rescue of the hospital staff by fixing the damage to the housing block.

 The  company handed the refurbished block to the hospital administration on Monday.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms Joy Mubale, the TotalEnergies’ social performance director, said: “We are sure it will enable healthcare workers to be more available at the time of need.”

“Covid-19 ravaged everything, we had the walls, roofs, ceiling, doors and windows, verandas,  redone,” Ms Mubale added.

Mr Christopher Omara, the Resident District Commissioner for Nwoya, applauded TotalEnergies for the support.

“This is a great relief and good job by TotalEnergies, our health workers don’t have sufficient accommodation in  many health units. We still need more support,”  he said.

The hospital management say the delay to refurbish or build new structures has frustrated operations

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