Uganda with a population of nearly 39 million people, has seen its economy improve significantly as shown by the demographic survey and UBOS indicators of 2011.
According to the UGANDA NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY 2012/2013, the majority of Ugandans first seek health care from a PRIVATE HEALTH facility/clinic and these constitute 37% while those who go to a GOVERNMENT HEALTH CENTER make up 35%.
Uganda’s health system is two pronged. Health services are delivered both in the public and the private sector including traditional and complementary health practitioners. All this under a decentralized health system on the national and district levels.
At the national level, there are national referral hospitals, regional referrals, and semi-autonomous institutions.
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of health initiated a PATIENTS CHARTER in 2009 which ensures that the Rights of Patients and health providers are protected.
The charter was a joint effort of the Ministry of Health and Civil Society Organizations or CSO’s.
BYTE(CEHURD MOH MINISTER, CEHURD Kabanda)
According to the framers, the Patient’s charter is expected to ensure community participation and empower individuals to take on responsibility for their health.
This will promote accountability; improve the quality of health services and above all respect of the patient’s rights.
BYTE (CEHURD MOH MINISTER, CEHURD Kabanda))
We carried out a survey to find out how many Ugandans know the PATIENTS CHARTER and whether the health facilities conform to its provisions, particularly in the Ugandan capital Kampala with a population of 1.6 million people and neighboring Wakiso district boasting 2.2 million people
We visited the different Health Centers ranging from Health Centers I, II, III, and IV as well as referrals to find out whether these facilities conform to the provisions raised in the patient’s charter.
Our findings revealed that most of the patients and health practitioners interviewed didn’t know about the Charter.
POPS (Patient Charter Cancer, Red dress, red tie)
Like any other developing country, accessibility to health facilities in Uganda remains a serious challenge because of poor roads. Most of them become impassable during the rainy season.
We learnt of one health facility where a patient was turned away.
Byte (Bodaboda, CEHURD NABERU)
This is a common scenario in Wakiso district. For instance, Kitala health centre IV in Namayumba lacks medical provisions and the murram access road is nearly impassable. Nabweru HC, Kawanda HC, Sentema, Kabubu HC, Lugungudde HC, Nansana HC and Kabubu HC also face either of these problems.
So why should health facilities not far from the country’s epicenter of health activities in the capital Kampala have such poor services?
BYTE (Man in light blue)
At Nabweru HC, the male and female patients share a ward and the Doctors there explain that it is due to limited space. But the Health Minister and the senior medical health officer in charge of quality assurance deny this state of affairs saying that no Public Health centre mixes male and female patients in a ward unless it is a Private facility.
MAYANJA RONALD;( CEHURD NABERU_Man in light blue)
MINISTER SARAH OPENDI (CEHURD MOH MINISTER)
DR SSENDYONA MARTIN-Quality Assurance MOH ( MOH man wit glasses)
Also of grave concern is the lack of a Patients Charter at the Medical records in Wakiso district to guide both the medical practitioners and patients.
The Wakiso District Health Officer, DHS ROBERT KAGWIRE conceded he did not possess one adding that it wasn’t also readily available for most health facilities in the district.
VOX POPS BODABODA etc (PATIENT CHARTER wakiso new pixs)
At Wakiso HC, the Nurses we interviewed hesitantly revealed they knew about the Patients Charter but lacked a copy at the facility.
BYTE (PATIENT CHARTER wakiso new pixs)
The Wakiso DHS pointed out that the authorities also need to rehabilitate the dilapidated health facilities.
BYTE ((PATIENT CHARTER wakiso new pixs))
At Kisenyi HC III, the administrator Busobozi Rachel was in the know of this Charter unlike the nurses who had never heard about it.
BYTE– BUSOBOZI REACHEL (CEHURD KISENYI_first ladie)
Busobozi Rachel defends the health centre arguing that they observe the rights mentioned in the charter. She also points out that there is a need to incorporate palliative care left out in the patient’s charter and as such has to be reviewed.
DR SSENDYONA MARTIN (CEHURD NABERU_Man in light blue)
The Nurses and Midwife say on a number of occasions the patients’ rights guide them in the administration of treatment despite not having a Patients charter at the facility.