The purchase of the much needed Computerized Tomography (CT) scan machine to be installed at St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor, seems to have hit a snag, after a fund raising drive started in 2019 towards the purchase, has gone silent.
The hospital in partnership with Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI), hatched the drive with an aim of raising 3.6 billion shillings, to purchase the high resolution 128 slice CT scan machine.
The machine helps in diagnosing muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures besides spotting out tumor, infection or blood clot thus guiding procedures such as surgery, biopsy and radiation therapy.
However, months down the road since the fundraising drive was launch there is still a shortage of 3.5 billion shillings to purchase and install the machine at the Hospital,
With a deficit of 3.5 Billion shillings, hope was restored after president Museveni sometimes last year, while launching the cassava growing initiative that is being spearheaded by Gulu Archdiocese in Acholi Bur Sub County in Pader district., pledged to support the installation of the machine at the hospital. However, to date, nothing tangible has been seen.
Gulu Archdiocese, Archbishop, His Grace John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese who is the chief fundraiser is still appealing to members of the public to make contributions after collecting slightly over 100 million shillings.
The absence of the machine is straining patients in Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and West Nile sub-regions, whose main point of referral is Lacor Hospital.
Currently, a patient spends up to 1.5 million Shillings to hire ambulance services from Gulu to Kampala to access CT scan services.
Doctors say that only 30 per cent of patients requiring CT scan service in the greater north can afford to get the service in Kampala.
A 2017/2018 Uganda Annual Health Sector Performance report indicates there are 17 CT scan machines in the country, out of which 13 are distributed across Kampala while two are in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, and the other two are at Cure and Mt. Elgon Hospitals in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.