There was jubilation as Lands ,Housing and Urban Development Minister Hon. Judith Nabakooba commissioned the first ever Tuberculosis X-ray machine in Mityana General Hospital.
Nabakooba, was received in the area by local leaders led by the Chairman LCV, National Resistance Movement cadres and other locals who treated her to a triumphal entry into the district.
Commissioning the machine, Nabakooba thanked President Museveni for having prioritised Mityana among the places to be supported in this term.
She also thanked her health counterpart in cabinet, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng for having been at the centre of implementing what the president directed for Mityana.
“We have been in touch with Dr Aceng and her Doctors almost on a daily basis following up on this machine. I want to thank her for the first batch of this machine. The equipment looks small but you have heard it is a highly digitised equipment. I was told it is the simplest, its results are accurate and it is manageable,” she said.
The minister urged leaders in Mityana to ensure the machine serves its purpose. She asked them to make sure they monitor and make sure the people accessing the services of the machine are well attended to.
“I will create time as a leader to come and talk specifically to the team running the scan and x-ray units. I want to understand their operations and how we can help them deliver their job without complaining. I want to pledge that the ministry of health promised me that other deliveries are going to be coming. The health centre twos that are going to be elevated to health centre three are work in offing, I have been talking to Dr Aceng and she told me it is going to be done.”
Representing the health minister at the commissioning, Dr Raymond Byaruhanga, a technical advisor in the ministry of health said the equipment was procured under the United States government friendship with Uganda.
He explained that Mityana was prioritised among the first beneficiaries because the district happens to be one of those at the heart of the country in terms of TB services.
“Hon Minister Nabakooba working together with the minister of health made it possible that this machine is brought to this district. We thank you (Hon Nabakooba) for encouraging us to procure this machine. This equipment is a fully fledged X-ray machine, which takes X-rays for TB screening. This machine is mobile, can be used anywhere and you don’t need dark rooms to use it. It uses intelligence to screen for TB,” he said.
According to Byaruhanga, the machine cost the government 120,000 USD and has a guarantee of maintenance. He encouraged the people not to steal the spare parts from it.
The machine has a computer system and once diagnosed, it can send the chest X-ray results anywhere on the patient’s phone. It can do over 200 plus X-rays in an hour.
It can also identify broken ribs, pneumonia, an enlarged heart but for now it can only do chest diagnosis.
“The cost for the service for this equipment is free of charge and the number of chest results it can do in a day is in millions. It is maintained free of charge for the next couple of years. It uses electricity but in villages where there is no power it can use batteries,”Byaruhanga shared.
The expert appealed to the leaders to utilise this machine by taking it to communities and letting locals use it.
“We as the ministry of health are working to make sure we facilitate the health workers as they go to the community to use it. We have trained two people from the hospital (Mityana) on how to use it, a senior clinical officer and the radiographer. We are going to facilitate them to move around the community with it.”
In his remarks, Patrick Mugisha, the Chairman LCV Mityana district thanked the government for thinking about his district.
He said with Mityana being among the first people to receive the machine in Uganda, the government is really prioritising them as a district.
“I usually tell people that once it comes to life matters we all have to be in the same boat. I believe this X-ray is going to help us a lot.”
He asked the Minister to help expedite the repair of the bigger hospital x-ray that has been down for some time now.
“We asked for this hospital to be made a referral hospital, if elevated, we shall have better services here. We hope to cut the distance from Mityana taking critical patients to Mubende and Kampala. We put a number of beds and other facilities in here, we pray that it is expedited,” he said.