KISORO– As the lions’ club international marked world diabetes day on Wednesday, the Lion Clubs of Mbarara and Kisoro held a free counseling, testing and treatment, and over 1500 people were found with health complications ranging from diabetes, pressure, diabetes retinopathy and Cervical cancer.
The testing and treatment was conducted at Chihafi Health centerIV in Kisoro district. However, medics and organizers were overwhelmed by the big turn up where the majority were only women and this was attributed to defunct health units and long distances people have to trek for health services.
We were told that patients started thronging the units as early as 7 am, some were seen with their food containers. While in the queue is was a survival for the fittest as many were seen pushing others in fighting for code numbers before they would be subjected to testing and treatment
Among the diseases they tasted were cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, and pressure.
These while at Chihafi health centerIV braved much scorching sunshine where some were seen fainting in the long queues in a bid to access treatment. Some local leaders say most people in Kisoro are still confined in their traditional briefs and have not appreciated seeking for medical care.
“Some people here believe that there are some diseases that cannot be treated like Efumbi, others still believe in witchcraft and religion, these have contributed much to all kind of sicknesses we have in our villages, recently we lost someone in Nyabweshenya village who was taken to church to be prayed rather than being taken to the hospital, this shows that the brief systems in our churches have stopped people from going to seek for medical services and prefer keeping them in church so I call upon these religious leaders stop misleading our people if he comes to you pray so that he gets a doctor but not keeping that person in your church and ends up dying from there”.Said Abel Bizimana the LCV chairman Kisoro.
Patients argued that the services in the health centers are not up to standard, that sometimes health workers abscond from work hence leaving the health units with no attendants.
“Kisoro being a mountainous area, we trek so much distance to reach health centers meaning that those who are old and cannot walk, they decide to remain home and die, but even some of us who manage to seek services, we find health centers abandoned and bounce back, when they put announcements on radios that there will be free treatment I think that’s why people are so many here but people in the villages are dying silently” One of the residents who preferred conditions of anonymous revealed.
We learnt that Kisoro has three health center IV and one district hospital but health services have remained wanting.
Urban Murembe president Lions Club Mbarara noted that every 14th of November they celebrate and extend health services to people who have diabetes of the eye and pressure.
“All lions clubs in the world deem it fit to ensure that on top of what various governments provide to their citizens, they also extend numerous services but we were overwhelmed by the numbers we found here I think these people have been crying to see this and we managed to serve each and every person who came in. we realized that mostly women came in big numbers and they were the most who had diabetes retinopathy and pressure as compared to men” Noted Murembe.
When asked why there was too much turn up, Steven Nshabiyunva the District Health Officer who doubles as the president Lions Club of Kisoro noted with concern the big turn up saying that there are a lot of unanswered questions that need to be addressed.
“What happens here today is an indication that people are sick and something needs to be done, I have always gotten complaints that some health workers absent themselves from work, this is the time for us to end this vice, if you know you cannot do the job you were recruited to do, then we are going to deal with anyone caught.