Kalisizo General Hospital in Kyotera District will soon get a new X-ray machine, a senior official at the Ministry of Health has said.
The development comes after the facility’s X-ray machine broke down seven years ago.
The Ministry of Health delivered the X-ray machine to the facility in 2008. After eight years, the machine became faulty and has been dysfunctional since 2016.
According to Dr Richard Kabanda, the commissioner of health services in-charge of health promotion, education and communication, the hospital will get a new X-ray machine and a new generator by June next year.
“We have already got the contractor to purchase the X-ray machine, whereas the generator will be brought to the facility within a fortnight,” he said while meeting health workers and Kyotera District leaders at the facility on Tuesday.
In addition to a new X-ray machine and generator, Dr Kabanda said the facility will also get an oxygen manufacturing plant.
According to Dr Emmanuel Ssekyeru, the hospital medical superintendent, their efforts to repair the X-ray machine have failed over the years.
“We currently find a challenge to attend to a patient whose bones have been dislocated, especially the accident victims because of the lack of a functioning X-ray machine,” he said.
Dr Ssekyeru added: “If we get a new machine, we shall become a centre for treating patients with broken limbs and there will be no more referrals to hospitals like Masaka or Mulago in Kampala like it has been the case.”
Located on Masaka-Kyotera –Mutukula highway, the hospital receives more than 100 accident victims a month with at least 20 in critical condition.
Dr Ssekyeru lauded the Ministry of Health for responding to their pleas.
“It is good that our patients will get the required services. We have always been blamed for offering poor services and the community could hardly believe that it wasn’t our fault,” he said.
He also explained that the oxygen plant will not only serve patients at Kalisizo Hospital but also those from other hospitals of Rakai, Lyantonde, Lwengo and Kakuuto Health Center IV.
Dr Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District health officer, said the absence of X-ray services had made staff in the radiology department redundant yet they earn monthly salaries.
“It is unfortunate that a hospital like Kalisizo, which is in a border district has spent all those years without such a basic machine.Some staff like the dark room attendant and radiographers have spent a long time without practicing their work,” he said.
Mr Sunday Richard Ntambaazi the chairperson of Kalisizo Town Council, said: “We didn’t have an x-ray machine and as politicians, our people have been asking us to help, but we couldn’t do much because the town cannot raise the money needed to purchase such a machine .”
Mr John Paul Mpalanyi ,the Kyotera County MP, said he knows the worth of an X-ray and he’s sure the residents will gain out of it once government fulfils its pledge .
“Since our roads are still poor, many accidents have occurred and are still happening. I’m sure the X-ray machine will help our people who are prone to motor crashes in this area ,” he said.
Ms Joanita Naluyima, a resident of Nninzi Village in Kalisizo Town Council, said they have been paying Shs50,000 for X-ray services in private health facilities in Masaka City.
“Getting money to transport a patient to Masaka is challenging yet we also have to pay Shs 50,000 for the service. We are sure the new X-ray machine will have saved us a lot,” she said.
Kalisizo General Hospital was opened in 1926 as a centre for vaccinating people against small pox, which had become rampant at the time.
In 1932, mud-and-wattle structures with grass-thatched roofs were built after the family of Rev Father Boniface Mubiru cleared the government then to utilise the land.
Permanent buildings were later built by the colonial administration and the facility operated as a dispensary until 1988 when the central government elevated it to a general hospital.
Today, the facility has 110 beds.
The hospital serves an estimated one million people in the districts of Kyotera, Lwengo and Rakai.