Kigezi has an urgent need for a neonatal intensive care unit

By Sophan Niwamanya

Health experts in the Kigezi Sub-region are emphasizing the urgent requirement for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to address the escalating cases of neonatal deaths in the area.

The significance of this issue was brought to light by the District Health Officer for Rubanda district, Dr. Abdon Birungi, during the Kigezi Regional Joint Review Mission (JRM) held at the National Teachers College in Kabale Municipality. The event, which will last for two days, is centered on the theme Invigorating Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: My Role, Your Role, Our Roles.

Dr. Birungi, who also doubles as the head of district health officers within Kigezi sub region, revealed that the region consistently records between 50 and 150 neonatal cases each month, a dire consequence attributed to the absence of a neonatal intensive care unit in Kigezi sub-region that could provide crucial services. Dr. Birungi revealed that most of the cases registered in the region get referred to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital for medical attention.

He further identified the chilling weather in the region as a contributing factor to the unfortunate demise of newborns, underscoring the pressing necessity for the establishment of a neonatal intensive care unit.

In response, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, acknowledged the compelling need for a neonatal intensive care unit in the region. Ainebyoona disclosed that plans for a neonatal intensive care unit in every referral hospital are already in motion within the Ministry.

He noted that the ministry is soon initiating the construction of an expansive intensive care unit at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital.