A sad story is told of Mrs. Allen (not real name), a mother in Buhweju who expected twins, but had one of them turned the wrong way and the placenta being in a wrong place. The condition resulted into over bleeding , and loss of the fetus because the mother did not access the ultrasound scan machine to screen her pregnancy for anatomical problems.
For many years, residents in Buhweju district found it hard and difficult for them to have complicated medical examinations handled due to lack of the ultrasound machine service in their area.
Patients would be forced by the situation to private facilities in and outside the district, which was expensive considering transport and service fee. Averagely, one would spend close to 200,000 Ugandan shillings to access the ultrasound machine in a neighboring district.
The situation prevailed until 2017, when the machine was purchased and erected at Nsiika Health Center IV. Thanks to Mrs. Oliver Katwesigye Koyekyenga, the Buhweju district Woman MP, who spearheaded the purchase of the machine.
Those days when Members of Parliament were given money 29 million to consult their constituents on the amendment of the constitution, Mrs Katwesigye used the money to buy the ultrasound machine, because her people were spending much on seeking the service outside the district. Twenty-nine million shillings was not enough to buy the machine, so, she fundraised and had the machine put in place to help patients.
The value of the machine had at that time not been extensively explored in Buhweju district, but things have now changed. People who used to travel long distances to neighboring districts of Ibanda, Sheema and Bushenyi can now access the service at Nsiika Health center, near the district headquarters.
The importance of the machine to the people of Buhweju district has been much appreciated. It is believed that, the number of women attending free antenatal care has increased ever since the machine was brought to the district.
Mrs. Agnes Kyomuhangi, a resident of Nsiika town council who conceived in 2018 and recently delivered a baby at Nsiika health center IV says, her pregnancy was well monitored by the medics at a cheaper cost without going far because of the availability of the ultra sound machine near her home.
“I recently delivered a healthy baby because doctors were able to monitor the pregnancy. I only spent money on transport and food. At least, this is better than those days when we would be told to seek the service in other districts.” Says Mr Kyomuhangi
A medical worker at Nsiika HCIV who preferred not to be mentioned told Countryside Reports that the machine works one time in a week because the district has no qualified staff who can examine the patients using the ultrasound machine and interpret the results.
The worker revealed that the machine works on about 69 people per week, and many are made to back home unattended to because of staff’s limited knowledge on handling the machine.
“The machine has really helped the people here despite the fact that the available staff don’t know how to use it and interpret the results. A skilled physician comes here only on Tuesdays. Some of the staff have been sent to learn how to use it. Besides that, the machine is doing well because it is well serviced,” the worker told Countryside Reports
About the machine
The Ultrasound machine is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture live images from inside the human body. It allows the doctor or physician to see organs, vessels, and tissues with problems. It is commonly known for its application in the management of complicated cases including pregnancy.