Adequate Treatment Eludes Diabetic Patients

2624 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Gerald Mukooza, the acting chairperson of the Rwenzori diabetes association says there is need for specialists to conduct risk assessment and early diagnosis before the patient is considered for proper treatment.

The lack of specialists to handle diabetes patients in Rwenzori region is affecting treatment of the disease. There are more than 5000 diabetes patients in Rwenzori region according to data obtained from the Diabetes Association. 40 of the registered patients are children.

Despite the rise in the number of diabetic patients, there is no single specialized medic forcing patients to travel miles to the Fort Portal regional referral and Mulago national referal hospitals for proper care and treatment. Gerald Mukooza, the acting chairperson of the Rwenzori diabetes association says there is need for specialists to conduct risk assessment and early diagnosis before the patient is considered for proper treatment.

He says that some patients especially those in rural areas find it costly to travel to the diabetes clinic at Fort Portal referral hospital for treatment. Mukooza also says that sometimes, the association hires a private specialist from Kampala to treat some of the elderly patients in Fort Portal, since they don’t have the strength to travel long distances. He adds that the lack of specialists also affects provision of information, advice and support about diabetes.
 
//Cue in: “no specialist to treat…
 
Cue out: “…the association spends.”//
 
Coupled with the lack of specialists in diabetes treatment, the diabetes clinic at Fort Portal hospital is also congested which affects service delivery to patients. The clinic has only two doctors. Henry Mujuni, a health worker at the clinic says that they are overwhelmed by the high number of patients, since it is the only clinic in the region.
 
Some of the patients have also resorted to herbs because they lack transport to the hospital. Faith Mukidi, a diabetes patient and a resident of Rwimi town council says that whenever she fails to get treatment, she resorts to herbal medicine like aloevera until she is able to get drugs. According to the Uganda Diabetes Association (UDA), an organization that unites and advocates for people affected by diabetes, the country is experiencing an upsurge in the number of people affected by the disease yet it isn’t given priority at policy and budgeting levels by the government.
 
Adding that, treatment of diabetes is expensive and unaffordable in most cases. The United Nations World Health Organization 3.2 million people die of diabetes around the world each year. It has called diabetes a major threat to global public health that is rapidly getting worse.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.