Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lira health centres rely on rain water – WRA Study

By Patrick OkinoPublish Date: Dec 22, 2013

Serious water and power shortages in health facilities present a massive problem in labor wards in Lira district, where birth attendants are forced to use phones and lamps at night during the process of child delivery.

A study by White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), an NGO, found that health facilities rely on water from the wells, boreholes and also rain water.

Among the health centres involved in the survey were Bar, Aromo, Amach, Agali, Ongica, Barapwo and Ober in Lira.

The report revealed that none of the health centres involved in the study had running water, a huge constraint to the flow of activity in the centres.

Absence of piped water therefore means infection control is greatly constrained.

In five out of the nine health centres surveyed, workers reported using personal mobile phone torches as backup for lighting during delivery of mothers at night.

Two birth attendants said they used hurricane lamps and three admitted they had no form of power backup.

The project manager, Senfuka Samuel presented the report to Lira regional referral hospital at the close of this week.

Lira district speaker, Ocen Odyek, LC3 chairpersons, sub-county chiefs, district councilors and health workers attended the presentation of the report.

Six of the health facilities harvest rain water for regular use, seven use boreholes while others rely on wells or hire people to collect water for them, revealed the report.

One midwife from Bar health centre, Betty Akullo said they risk getting infections any time because of shortage of water in the delivery ward.

Acute shortage of water and power at the lower levels is putting more pressure on the referral units.

Senior principal nursing officer at Lira regional referral hospital, Petrua Kiboko says patients are overwhelming referral units in the region because of the problems at the health centres.

The main hospital too runs out of the power sometimes, and has to use generators as backup, with a consumption of about 24 litres per hour.