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Abim hospital operates in the dark

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Fear grips patients and medical workers in Abim Hospital whenever there is a power blackout. The Hospital that is dependent on hydroelectricity power is left with no option other than using lamps and phone torches.

When this reporter visited the Hospital over the weekend, empty lamps stood on tables in the wards without paraffin since there was no power. Both the attendants and their patients were deep asleep to catch up with the lost long night’s sleep as they spent the dark night watching over themselves.

Ms Joyce Awili, a patient who was rushed to the Hospital at night for excessive bleeding during pregnancy, says she was dumped outside by a boda-boda rider who feared to enter the dark ward. Ms Awili told this reporter that it took her about 30 minutes to reach the ward to access nurses as her husband was still struggling to find his way due to darkness in the hospital.

Another patient, Ms Hilder Irene Auma from Ayo village who this reporter found in the maternity ward, said darkness forced her to stay with urine overnight since she couldn’t move out to ease herself. She notes that whenever it is dark, even the nurses get frightened to check on them regularly.

READ: Abim Hospital receives more Shs400m for renovation

Nurses found in different wards told this reporter that they use lamps and phone torches for administering treatment to patients. The nurses who preferred anonymity for fear of being reprimanded by their bosses say they even conduct deliveries on lamps or torches.

The nurses said dark nights affect work as supervisors fail to monitor those on duty, which gives room to other staff to abandon work.

The Hospital administrator, Bradfod Okori acknowledged the crisis but noted that the matter has been discussed at higher levels for redress. He noted that the only generator in the Hospital is only run during emergencies.

“Even when we run the generator, it is only connected to the theatre and imagery department, leaving all the wards and the rest of the Hospital in total darkness. However, in our meeting, we resolved to have the wards and other places in the Hospital connected to the standby generator”, Mr Okori said on phone.

Abim Hospital made news headlines during the last presidential campaigns after the opposition leader; Dr Kizza Besigye visited and exposed the ‘rot’ in the Hospital. Government later released money for renovation of the Hospital but little was done on the lighting system. Only the laboratory and administration departments have solar systems.

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