Ninety patients of spinal cord injuries in Kabarole District are stranded after running out of assistive devices.
Under their umbrella, Spinal Injury Association Kabarole (SIAK), the patients say they have been rendered jobless and can no longer afford buying the devices including catheters and urine bags due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The association chairman, Mr Moses Kigambo, says most of their members are now stuck in their homes and have contracted pressure sores and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
One patient who only identified himself as Patrick discloses that since he sustained the spinal injury, he has been spending heavily on catheters adding that he is no longer able to buy them.
He says he is currently reusing the old catheters that should have been disposed of fearing that he might contract diseases soon.
Mr Kigambo says they need 540 sets of catheters with urine bags, sanitizers and gloves among other items that require Shs4.3m.
However, Mr Kigambo says that their efforts to get assistance from Kabarole district authorities have failed to yield results.
“When we wrote to [Mr] Solom Asiimwe, the Kabarole District Health Officer, he acknowledged that the patients were indeed chronically ill and needed urgent attention. However he said the health department was unable to help,” he says.
Mr Kigambo says the patients also wrote a joint letter to the director of Buhinga Regional Referral Hospital, Dr. Alex Adeku, requesting for assistance but he said that what they had in stock was too little compared to their demand.
Mr Kigambo says they now do not have any option and are calling upon well-wishers to help them.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health Senior Public Relations Officer, said the ministry can only intervene after getting written communication from health officials in the district.