MPs Blast Minister Opendi Over Kawempe Hospital Crisis

MPs accuse Opendi of giving contradictory facts to the public

Members of Parliament have lashed at the State Minister for Health, look Sarah Opendi over what they called misinforming the public on the need to hire postgraduate medical students from Makerere College of Science to fill the staffing gaps in Mulago Hospital.

Members had earlier requested the minister to appear on the floor of the house with a statement to the above effect until she delivered the statement on Thursday which left most of the legislators irritated by the response which they called shallow and contradictory.

This came after reports made rounds that 8- 15 children die every day at Kawempe Hospital an orthopedic extension of Mulago Referral Hospital due to lack of enough staff to handle the ever increasing number of patients.

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The Minister took to the floor informing members that the circulating reports are falsehoods and shouldn’t cause alarm and panic reporting that only one baby dies everyday contrary to the said 15 babies.

Opendi noted that the death of 30 babies that die every month on average is as a result of severe birth asphyxia due to prolonged labour and premature complications.

She observed that the number of staff at Kawempe Hospital is relatively enough revealing that there are 99 midwives, 34 specialists, 21 intern doctors, 5 medical officers and 4 specialists working in the Special Care Unit.

This could not be taken in by the lawmakers who lashed at her demanding that she stops communicating lies but offer facts to the house so as to come up with a lasting solution.

The Health Committee Chairperson, Michael Bukenya told the house that it is such a big shame that the Minister sees no crisis when a total of 350 medical personnel have left Mulago due to the closure of Makerere University.

Bukenya said that just after the closure of Makerere University on November 1st, the country lost 10 new born babies on November 6 due to under staffing.

At this time members began shouting shame! Shame! to the Minister. She was rescued from further ridicule by the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who referred the debate to next Tuesday revealing that the President was holding another meeting at State House, Nakasero over the same issue.

Oulanyah however demanded for a more comprehensive statement from the Minister when she appears back next week.


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