On Monday, I traveled with the home-based care team once again. One of our stops was to visit a women who was admitted to Jinja Hospital a couple of weeks ago. Apparently her condition has gotten worse. She has Stage IV cervical cancer and is HIV positive. She was laying on a bed in the far corner of the ward. She was surrounded by relatives looking after her. The beds have no privacy shields. Also, the hospital does not provide any food and one has to pay for any medicine provided for in advance. Surgeries are free though. So, if a patient is lucky to have relatives to help them, they are fortunate. She was in a lot of pain and had a catheter attached. However, the clinician that was with us examining her noticed that urine was coming out of her vagina indicating the wall separating the two areas was damaged or perforated. The doctors at the hospital were in a meeting and could not be consulted. They only do patient rounds once a day and only on Mondays and Wednesdays. Most doctors at gov’t hospitals are poorly paid and so they augment their salaries by working at private clinics.
According to the plaque outside, the hospital was built or dedicated in 1998 but it honestly looks like it is about 30 years old. There are no mosquito nets for every patient. So I mentioned that to the team and learned that we do have mosquito nets at the clinic which we could get and hopefully return with the next day.
Unfortunately, from what I understand, this is not unusual to see these conditions at gov’t hospitals in Uganda.