You have got to give it up for women in Kyotera district. The fertility rate is over the top. At Kakuuto Health Centre IV in Kyotera district baby deliveries are about six per day which now averages 180 deliveries per month.
In 2020 the population of Kyotera district was recorded to be 261,000 people. With the current additions you can do the maths. The issues may be lack of access to contraception or boredom – I don’t know.
The health officers at Kakuuto HCIV say they are overwhelmed. A health centre IV is a mini hospital with wards for men, women, and children and should be able to admit patients. It should have a senior medical officer and another doctor as well as a theatre for carrying out emergency operations.
At Kakuuto HCIV, they have an acute shortage of beds now. Off the 6 deliveries done everyday at least two are caesarian, which takes away time and resources for other pregnancy or antenatal related cases that are not delivering babies.
Dr. Aloysious Musoke, the Medical Officer in charge of Kakuuto HCIV, said they have a 15-bed capacity which is not enough for the increasing number of patients at the maternity ward. As a result, Musoke says they are forced to improvise with mattresses so that the patients can get maternity care from the floor.
A non-governmental organisation Brick By Brick Uganda, through its Babies And Mothers Alive (BAMA) project, built a neonatal unit to save premature babies in the congested ward but this is not enough.
Due to increased numbers, Dr. Musoke further noted that the insufficient drug supply at the health center is also worsening the situation since the drugs run out of stock before the next cycle. He explains that this nature of the health center is meant to be supplied drugs worth over Ugx30, 000,000 but the National Medical Stores provides drugs worth Ugx11,000,000 which is not enough considering the performance of the Health center and the numbers of patients.
Kate Nalwadda, a caregiver of a caesarian patient, says they do not have space to sleep in because the floor is being occupied by the expecting mothers.
Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District Health Officer, he is aware of the challenge and he attributed it to lack of financial resources to purchase more beds for the maternity and other wards at the health centre.
Agnes Namusiitwa, the Kakuuto Female Councilor, and Kyotera LC5 Vice-chairperson, says that different patients and caregivers have expressed the same concern on different occasions but there is nothing to do in the meantime but to improvise. She adds that they are still lobbying some beds from good Samaritans and Non-governmental Organisations.