Nakaseke Hospital Stuck with CD4 Counting Machine

6116 Views Nakaseke, Uganda

In short
Nakaseke Hospital is stranded with unutilized CD4 counting machine over lack of air conditioning system to run it. The acting Medical Superintendant of Nakaseke Hospital, Dr. David Mubeezi says that they have failed to utilize the machine due to lack of air conditioning system to maintain the laboratory temperature at 20-25 degrees which is recommended for its use.

Nakaseke Hospital is stranded with a CD4 counting machine, because there is no air conditioning system to run it.

In 2011, Mildmay Center donated a CD4 counting machine to assist in the testing of  HIV/AIDS blood samples, determine stage of infection, guide Anti-retriviral drug choices as well as indicate the patients’ response to treatment and disease progression.

The machine, has remained idle along with other supporting devices that include humalyte plus, Humastar 80, Humacount 60 which are used for analysis of blood samples.

The acting Medical Superintendant of Nakaseke Hospital, Dr. David Mubeezi says that they have failed to utilize the machine due to lack of air conditioning system to maintain laboratory temperature at 20-25 degrees which is recommended for its use.

Dr. Mubeezi explains that the hospital has 2000 HIV patients who are currently yearning for services have petitioned Mildmay Center which donated the machine to fix the air conditioner. He adds that the hospital receives over 130 million shillings which is a conditional grant and not enough to run the hospital as well as fix the machine.

The hospital Laboratory technician Yunia Babirye says that currently, when tests are done they are transported to Entebbe Center for Disease Control for analysis and the reply is sent after one or two weeks. Babirye adds that because of lack of a CD4 machine, they have scaled down days of operation to two per week which has.

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The chairman of People living with HIV/AIDS in greater Luweero region, Mulindwa Kagumba, says that because of delays in getting the results, the patients are now opting for private hospitals which charge over 15000 shillings per test yet it should be done frequently.

Kagumba adds that because of poverty facing the patients, majority can’t afford the tests which complicates the acquisition of Anti-retrivirol drugs hence watering down the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

Joseph Ssekyanzi, who lives with the disease, accuses the ministry of health and Nakaseke hospital of being negligent. Ssekyanzi wonders how the ministry can get a free machine but fail to install air conditioning system for its smooth operation. Ssekyanzi wants health minister, Dr. Christine Ondoa to intervene.

When contacted, the Nakaseke Mildmay programme coordinator Anna Tiridri declined to comment on the matter claiming that she is not comfortable to speak to media. Nakaseke hospital receives HIV/AIDS patients from Nakaseke, Luweero, Kiboga, Mityana, and Wakiso among other districts.

Last week, another CD4 Counting Machine was stolen from Soroti Hospital but police recovered three days later under the bed of one of the security guards at the hospital.

According to Uganda Aids Commission, there are an estimated 1.2 million people living with Hiv/Aids in Uganda, of whom 200,000 are on ARVs.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.