Hospitals in Kabarole Hire Private Nutritionists

2780 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Charles Olal, the Medical Superintendent Fort Portal Referral Hospital says that the hospital spends 2 million shillings every month teaching expectant mothers. He however says that sometimes the women miss out on nutrition classes because the hospital lacks funds to pay the nutritionist.

Lack of a functional nutrition department in Kabarole has forced hospitals in the district to hire the services of private nutritionists who demand huge sums of money.
 
Three years ago, the district local government established a nutrition department under the health department. The staff attached to the department often moved to homes, schools and hospitals educating people on food and nutrition.
 
The department, however, is now non functional after the five staff were transferred and have never been replaced. 

Charles Olal, the Medical Superintendent Fort Portal Referral Hospital says that the hospital spends 2 million shillings every month teaching expectant mothers.  He however says that sometimes the women miss out on nutrition classes because the hospital lacks funds to pay the nutritionist.
 
He also says that every month, they receive more than twenty cases of malnourished children, which he partly blames on ignorance by the parents on the value of nutritious foods.
 
Olal says that if there was a nutrition department, the hospital would reduce on the costs and also people would easily be educated.
 
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At Kabarole and Virika Hospitals, they dedicate every Thursday for nutritional classes to teach pregnant women and mothers about the importance of nutritious foods.

Dr. George Mugisa, the medical superintendent Kabarole Hospital says the idea started because the hospital lacked a nutritionist. Mugisa also says that they spend 1.5 million shillings every month.

Mugisa says that the district health department should revitalize the nutrition department and recruit staff, because expectant mothers who go for antenatal care at health centres lack information on nutrition.  

Rose Nyakaisiki, a resident of Nyabukara village in Fort Portal municipality says that she has no idea on the nutritious foods she has to feed her two-year old son.  
 
Nyakaisiki also says that there hasn’t been any sensitization on what nutritious foods are and how important they are.    
 
When Uganda Radio Network visited Kabarole Model Primary School at lunch time, some of the pupils were eating non nutritious foods like Mandazi and pancakes.
 
The school head teacher Geoffrey Mugisa says it is common for pupils not to pack nutritious foods because some parents are ignorant of what types of food to feed their children. He says a functioning nutrition department would be filling this information gap.  

Mugisa says that some parents rear chicken at home but they rarely pack eggs for their children.
 
According to Mugisa, during Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings, they encourage parents to feed their children on nutritious foods.  
 
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Dr. Richard Mugahi, the Kabarole district health officer says that starting next financial year, the health department will embark on disseminating information about nutrition on the radios.
 
Mugahi says that they were supposed to start the sensitisation last year, but the department lacked resources. He says that the health department will allocate funds specifically for information on nutrition.  
 
According to the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan 2011-2016, which is intended to reduce the magnitude of malnutrition in Uganda, information dissemination on nutrition is vital to especially in rural areas.  

The plan also states that Malnutrition remains one of Uganda’s most fundamental challenges to human welfare and economic growth.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.