Nangombe responds to the state of affairs at Engela District Hospital
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) this week in a statement responded to allegations made by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) lawmaker Hidipo Hamata following his visit to the Engela District Hospital earlier this month.
In a press release, Hamata claimed that the generator that is supposed to supply the hospital with electricity in instances of a power outage is not working. “The generator has not been working for many months now. Doctors are said to use their cell phone flashlights during surgeries. It is largely unacceptable for a large hospital like the Engela State Hospital to operate without a working standby generator,” Hamata said.
In response to the allegations, MoHSS Executive Director, Ben Nangombe in a statement said that the intentions of Hamata issuing the said non-release are known only to himself.
He said Hamata failed to consult the hospital management to be provided with facts about his concerns after his brief visitation there.
Moreover, Nangombe labelled the statements on the state of affairs at Engela District Hospital by Hamata as ‘sensational and irresponsible.’
“He, unfortunately, arrived at uninformed conclusions. He used the same to misinform the public,” Nangombe added.
According to Nangombe, the hospital management would have gladly provided clarifications on any matter to the PDM parliamentarian.
However, the Nangombe admitted that there are challenges, but they will be sorted. “Yes, our health sector is facing some challenges. Many are being addressed on an ongoing basis, and good progress is being made,” he said.
He also said the ministry is grateful for the support and resources put at their disposal to improve and strengthen our health system.
Nangombe said the Engela District Hospital has two standby generators. Accordingly, one is fully operational, and the other is undergoing maintenance as conductors on one of the generators were burnt during a thunderstorm.
“According to hospital management, there have been no instances where Doctors use torchlights or mobile phones to operate in theatre,” Nangombe explained, adding that theatre services are not scheduled when there is a power outage. He said this allegation is ‘baseless and false.’
On a claim of how the ministry is dealing with the inadequacy of mortuary cabinets, Nangombe further noted the hospital has another fully functional, separate mortuary that can keep up to 20 bodies – and that they have not been faced with any challenges of space at the mortuary.
“We dissuade leaders at all levels to refrain from making unfounded and non-factual averments that have the effect of negatively affecting health-seeking behaviour by members of the public. Let us all work together based on truth to help encourage our people when they need it, not to discourage them from doing so through unfounded allegations,” he concluded.