Palabek Kal Health Centre III in Palabek Kal sub-county in Lamwo district is in a sorry state. Palabek Kal Health Centre III was constructed in 1950. It lacks accommodation for health workers, a functional water supply system, and latrines and constantly suffers drug stock outs. The misery has further been compounded by the recent decision by government to elevate the health center to a referral centre for nodding disease victims.
Recently, Palabek Kal Health Centre III received a donation of 100 mattresses from Tian Tang, a Chinese company. However, the hospital has nowhere to keep the mattresses because of lack of space. Dorothy Akwero, a clinical officer at the health centre says the situation is bad. She says some members of staff are using the building that was constructed as records office for accommodation. Akwero says that the building lacks toilets and leaks.
She says both the staff and patients fetch water about 100 meters away from the health center.
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Akwero says with the problems have worsened with the elevation of the health center to a treatment center for nodding disease victims. She says that the health has only 10 out of the 19 required staff.
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She has appealed to the district to intervene immediately to save the situation before it worsens.
James Otto, the LCIII Chairperson of Palabek Kal confirms the sorry state of the Health Centre Three.
Otto wonders why the health centre that serves Palabek Ogili, Palabek Gem, parts of Gulu and other sub-counties in the district cannot be upgraded to a Health Centre IV. He says they have presented the problem to the district but no action has been taken. Otto also says the nodding disease patients share the same space with other patients which is a big threats to their health.
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Lamwo district officials have not yet commented on the sorry state of the health centre. Attempts to get a comment from Dr. Charles Oyo Akia, the district health officer and the acting CAO proved unsuccessful. He was out of the office when our reporter visited his office. When called on phone, he said he was chairing a meeting but promised to respond later.
Several other health centers in Lamwo are grappling with similar problems of understaffing and drug stock out. Lamwo has no hospital but uses Padibe Health Centre IV as the only referral centre in the district. Severe cases are always referred to Kitgum and other districts.