Civil society organizations (CSO) in northern Uganda have pledged to fundraise for the purchase of the much needed Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan for St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu district.
Since the fundraising drive was launched in September 2019 by the hospital in partnership with the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI), the organizing committee was yet to realize 50 million shillings.
By early this week, the committee had only raised 48 million shillings to purchase the high resolution 128 slices CT scan which is expected to cost 3.1 billion Shillings including installation.
Charles Mulozi Olweny, the coordinator `Governance and Social Accountability Action Aid International Uganda Gulu cluster says the organization is ready to inject at least 100 million shillings towards the project.
Geoffrey Odong, the executive director Forum for Rights Awareness and Monitoring Uganda (FORAMO-Uganda), a community based organization, says they have already started a village level sensitization drive for the locals to contribute money for the purchase of the machine.
CT scan machines are used in the diagnosis of illnesses like muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumours and fractures.
However, in Acholi sub-region and neighbouring Karamoja, Lango, Teso and of West Nile regions, limited access to the CT scan services to facilitate timely diagnostic treatment and monitoring of illnesses continue to burden patients.
It is estimated that a patient spends between 900,000 to 1,500,000 to hire an ambulance loaded with return fuel and a support nurse from Gulu to Kampala to access CT scan machine services.
Doctors say for every 100 patients requiring CT scan machine services hospitals in the greater north, only 30 of them can afford the money for the scan in Kampala meaning the 70 stays on and die without diagnosis and monitoring.
In 2018, St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu and St. Joseph’s hospital in Kitgum referred to 656 and 349 patients to Kampala for specialized treatment including CT scan out of whom 181 and 47 respectively required CT scan service.