Residents of Bulembia division in Kasese Municipality want the government to consider establishing a new hospital in the area. The residents want the enter another joint Administrative Agreement with Kasese Catholic Diocese since Kilembe mines hospital was shifted to Kasese Town.
Built-in 1951 as a small clinic for the workers of Kilembe mines then, the facility is run under a Tri-partite arrangement between the Government of Uganda, Kilembe Mines Ltd and Kasese Catholic Diocese.
This agreement expires in March this year. The hospital suffered two flash floods in May 2020 after Nyamwamba, Mubuku, Nyamughasana and Lubhiriha rivers burst their banks sweeping through the hospital and Kilembe mines.
Kasese Catholic Diocese then resolved to shift the facility to Kasese Town. Residents argue that they have to trek long distances to access health services. Patrick Samusanghara, the councillor of Kyanjuki ward to the municipality, says that the area has an estimated 70,000 people justifying the need for a hospital.
He says, unlike Kasese central division that has many government and private facilities, Bulembia has a single health centre II.
He says they want the government to re-focus its resources on a new facility that can service this huge population.
Moris Kabagambe, a resident of Namugha, says that kilembe mine limited has offered space opposite the former hospital premises for the government to utilize.
He says they are willing to offer labour as a community in the re-establishment of the facility.
Joselyne Mbambu, the chairperson of the women council for Namugha North-west, says that pregnant mothers and those with children toil to access health services when the need arises.
She adds that most households are unable to access ambulance services and they want the services brought closer by establishing a hospital.
Zawulia Matebere, a mother in the area, says that it is a sad tale for households that get health emergencies at night since health facilities are far.
She adds that a patient requires between Shillings 15000 to 25000 to be driven from Bulembia to Kasese town and many families cannot afford this amount of money.
Reuben MAsereka, says that they have volunteered to clean the premises offered by Kilembe mines to attract the government’s attention. He says that beyond offering health services, the hospital was also planning a key economic factor in the area since it hosted a huge number of people.
The Kasese Municipality Mayor, Chance Kahindo says that they have been engaging the government and other development partners to re-establish hospitals in the area. He is hopeful that once the MoU expires, the government will mobilise resources to have a new facility.
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