Power cuts affect Mendi hospital

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday, June 8th 2011

ELECTRICITY supply problems continue to plague the Mendi General Hospital in the Southern Highlands.
Hospital board chairman Alex Awesa said it had become apparent from the day the generator had been installed that the auto switch had not been configured properly by the electrical company tasked to do the job.
“This threatens the hospital’s operations as it needs a constant supply of electricity,” he said.
“Patients’ lives could be affected, especially if the power goes off during life-saving medical operations.
“Babies and patients placed on life support could be affected during power outages, while the storage of reserve blood supply and certain medical equipment require full-time electricity supply.”
There are frequent power outages in Mendi town and the generator was commissioned last year to counter that.
Awesa said the generator had to be configured correctly before a patient’s life was lost.
He called on the responsible companies to look into the matter urgently.
In addition, the hospital continues to face communication problems, with faulty telephones not repaired for a month.
Hospital chief executive officer, Joseph Turian said internal extension lines were out down and needed to be serviced.
He said that had made it difficult for hospital staff to communicate internally by telephone, while incoming calls could not be transferred.
Turian said it was now a concern, especially during emergency cases that might arise at night where doctors at home needed to be contacted to attend to a patient.