News from Kyotera District say that a dental clinic at Kakuuto Health Centre IV is under lock and key because the one key staff has retired. Noah Mawaggali, a dentist at the clinic retired four months ago leaving no one to operate the dental clinic.
Dr. Alloysious Musoke, the In-charge of Kakuuto HCIV, says that following the retirement of the Dental Officer, they were left with no option but to close the clinic.
Now the Health Centre has to refer all patients in need of dental care to Kalisizo hospital or Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. Of course the patients cannot go to those locations it is far – involves transport and time. Most of them are opting to delay dental services until the dental clinic at Kakuuto Health Centre IV is reopened.
When will that be – God knows when because according to Dr. Musoke they referred the matter to the Kyotera District Health Officer and the relevant authorities who promised to get another dental officer in the next recruitment cycle and this will only be done by the District Service Committee to implement it.
However, in all this delay and inconvenience to the patients is lack of planning. There is also a problem why no other dentist will want to replace Mawagali at the dental clinic at Kakuuto Health Centre IV. A month before Mawagali retired, he had expressed concern over the filthy state of the clinic, which he said lacks modern equipment.
When a delegation of Members of Parliament led by Fortunate Rose Nantongo, the Kyotera Woman MP, and Geoffrey Lutaaya, the Kakuuto County MP listed he told them that they reuse the same tools on different patients -although they sterilize them but they are not enough which delays service delivery for both patients and dentists. Mawaggali also told them there was a challenge of limited space in the clinic which makes his work difficult.
He also suggested that they need a complete dental chair that can enable fillings and preservation of teeth. Dr. Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District Health Officer, says that they are working out modalities to recruit another officer to help the patients. He says the matter was brought to the attention of Gabriel Richard Bwayo, the Kyotera Chief Administrative Officer for redress.
With all this no dentist may want to fill Mawagali’s shoes and the people of Kyotera might have their teeth rotting because of lack of proper planning. Blame it on poor health systems!