Nimule hospital grapples with shortage of staff and equipment

Nimule hospital is struggling to provide health services to the growing population in the border town as it’s few medical specialists and nurses are over worked on daily basis.
Medical Director of Nimule Hospital, Dr. David Nyuma Sylvester speaks to Dawn on Wednesday [Photo: Awan Achiek]

By Awan Achiek

Nimule hospital is struggling to provide health services to the growing population in the border town as it’s few medical specialists and nurses are over worked on daily basis.

The Medical Director of Nimule Hospital, Dr. David Nyuma Sylvester said on Wednesday that the hospital is grappling with not only shortage of health staff but also lacks critical medical equipment such as X-ray machine.

 “We know in health that without professional staff doing their work, you may not be able to provide as per expectations of clients or the ministry of health,” said Dr. Sylvester in an interview with The Dawn.

Sylvester said that the hospital is staffed with six doctors, four clinical officers and 20 nurses and nine midwives and yet they serve the local population, returnees from Uganda and also foreign nationals in the busy border crossing point.

He said the six doctors and four clinical officers are overworked daily in the outpatient department.

Sylvester said that it is very challenging to work for 24 hours with this number of clinical officers and doctors.

He also disclosed that the hospital lacks X-ray which is important in diagnosis of patients.

“I mentioned about road traffic accident whereby fractures are involved which need to be diagnosed before we are able to manage,” said Sylvester.

Sylvester disclosed that due to lack of X-ray machine they refer patients to private hospitals.

“We are forced to refer patient to do X-ray which is costly for them in private clinics.”

X-ray is used to deter intestinal obstruction, take photo of the brain, chest and bone fracture.

Nimule Hosiptal was opened in the early 1970s as a clinic and was upgraded to hospital in 1983.

It has 170-bed capacity which serves the border of Nimule and caters to South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani refugee camp in Uganda.

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