UGANDA – Uganda has upgraded several health facilities in Yumbe District to ensure people have access to better healthcare services.

The government and partners have advanced health service delivery in Yumbe District through elevating hospitals such as Yumbe Health Centre IV, Lodonga Health Centre III to Health Centre IV while Yumbe General Hospital has been elevated to a Regional Referral Hospital.

The District Health Officer Dr. Alfred Yayi confirmed that the district has also registered several newly constructed health facilities especially in the Refugee Settlements and catchment areas.

We used to have 15 temporary health facilities in Refugee Settlements but now the 9 have been constructed as permanent health facilities and this will improve the health systems in the district in terms of infrastructure,” Dr. Yayi said.

However, inadequacies of drug supplies and understaffing are still major hiccups in delivering effective health service to the huge population in Yumbe District both refugees and host community.

USAID donates digital mobile X-ray machines

Meanwhile, Uganda has received five digital mobile X-ray machines from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to boost the government’s health delivery efforts especially in identifying people with Tuberculosis (TB).

The new machines bring the total number of digital X-ray machines to 12 available in the country.

Five government health facilities in Apac, Mityana, Kyenjojo, Rakai and Kagadi will each receive one digital mobile X-ray machine to bolster healthcare service delivery.

According to the officials in the Ministry of Health, the X-ray machines will simplify the work of ordinary health workers who are not trained as professional radiologists.

The machines come equipped with artificial intelligence software for computer-aided diagnosis of TB which automatically interpreters X-ray images,” the health officials said.

The X-ray machines are portable with capability for solar charging to deliver seamless battery-driven radiographic imaging critical to screening and diagnosis of TB in remote communities which are in many cases off the national hydroelectric power grid.

The digital X-ray machines can be carried in backpacks and transported by motorcycle to conduct TB screening camps in targeted TB hotspots as well as communities.

The screening can also target individuals at increased risk for TB such as people living with HIV, contacts of TB patients, diabetic patients, prisoners and refugees.

Moreover, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has flagged off 50 motorcycles for use in districts and commissioned two mobile TB clinics procured with funding from the Global Fund to boost the fight against Tuberculosis.

Ugandan private pharmacies evicted from hospitals

In more recent developments, the National Drug Authority (NDA) has directed Executive Directors of national referral Hospitals, directors of regional hospitals, medical superintendents of general hospitals and in charge of health center II, III and IV across Uganda to immediately close private pharmacies.

In a letter dated March 4th 2022, NDA Chairperson Medard Bitekyerezo directed the hospital and health center heads to immediately implement the ban.

The move follows the Presidential directive on the closure of privately owned pharmacies situated in government health facilities as contained in a letter dated September 2019.

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