There is fury in Bukedea district following the death of a mother shortly after delivery at Bukedea health Center IV due to lack of fuel in the ambulance. Christine Adeke, a resident of Kachede village in Bukedea Sub County checked into Bukedea Health Center IV two weeks ago to deliver her 12th child.

She reportedly developed complications shortly after giving birth to a baby boy prompting the nurse who attended to her to refer her to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital for better management.

Mike Okwi, the Bukedea District Secretary, says the nurse contacted him asking for fuel to help refer the mother to Mbale because her condition was deteriorating by the minutes.

Adeke is the third expectant mother to die at Bukedea Health Centre IV resulting from birth complications within a month. According to Okwi, services have deteriorated at the health center due insufficient funding.

He faults government for failing to prioritise health service delivery, which he says endangers the lives of patients.

Dr. Julius Osele, the in charge of Bukedea Health center IV confirmed the death of Adeke describing it as unfortunate. He declined to comment on claims that Adeke died as she couldn’t be rushed to Mbale due to lack of fuel in the health center ambulance.

John Olupot, a resident of Magoro Sub County criticised government for failing to provide adequate funding to health units. He wondered why patients are often sent to buy drugs from private clinics, saying the unit is usually without drugs.

The district, with a total population of 188,000 people, has only two public health facilities including Malera health centre III and Bukedea health centre IV.

Patients in need of specialized treatment are referred to Mbale Regional Referral hospital, which is 30 kilometres away.
According to the Health Ministry guidelines, a Health Centre IV is expected to cover 100,000 people as compared to 500,000 covered by district hospital.

A health centre IV offers among others Preventive, Promotive Outpatient Curative, Maternity, inpatient Health Services, Emergency surgery and Blood transfusion and Laboratory services.  A general or district hospital offers similar services in addition to other general services and in service training, consultation and research to community based health care programs.