Mukono general hospital management has received an ambulance, thanks to a donation by area Member of Parliament Hanifah Nabukeera.
The facility has for long been pleading to the district authorities and Ministry of Health-MoH for an ambulance to ease referrals in vain.
The donated ambulance has two oxygen cylinders, a suction unit, a spinal board, rescue splints and bandages, a patient shifting roll, an ambulance chair and a sphygmomanometer instrument used for measuring blood pressure.
Mukono Municipality Principal Health Officer Dr Anthony Kkonde says since the outbreak of COVID-19, the facility has been relying on only two ambulances also donated by Mukono municipal member of parliament Betty Nambooze but stationed at Kampala.
Kkonde says one ambulance would skip days without functioning due to constant movements which cause breakdowns.
According to statistics at his office, on average, the facility could make at least five referrals on a daily basis which have now increased to 10 with the second outbreak of coronavirus.
“This facility handles several cases from almost the entire district and the need for several more emergency vehicles is still acute especially at this time where sometimes the facility is required to make covid-19 referrals for further management or as a preventive measure.”
Several other health facilities especially Health Center IIIs within the district are also decrying difficulties in handling emergencies at sub-county levels.
Rebeccah Nassali, the in-charge for Nabalanga HCIII at Nakifuma says referrals were made more difficult after the ban on public transport since they could at least use taxis and bodabodas.
Joweria Nantongo a resident at Mukono Central division says stationed ambulances are more cost-effective and time-saving.
The ambulance services from Mukono general hospital to Naguru Regional Referral goes for shillings 100,000.
Dr Geoffrey Kasirye, the Mukono General Hospital Medical Superintendent says due to high cases of covid-19, they recommend constant fumigation of the ambulances which at times make the expenses go back to users.
So far Mukono district has registered over 923 positive cases, 27 referred under critical condition for further management and 281 on home-based care treatment.
Nabukeera, the Woman District MP appeals to the government to secure more emergency vehicles for the district to ease response, especially during these difficult times to assist especially single mothers and aged persons in rural areas.
“Several of our people under illness are struggling at home without any means of transport to access health facilities,” she says.