KOBOKO. Ms Jesca Ayaa, a 35 year old resident of Bango village in Lobule sub county, Koboko district in the past shunned health services at Lobule health centre III due to limited space to handle admissions in the facility.

She says privacy matters a lot when a mother is for labour in the facility but this has not been the case in this facility as the men are being admitted in the same maternity ward.

This according to her would make mothers fear when in labour suite and changing dresses in the ward.

Ayaa who resides 12km away from Koboko town, was forced by the condition in Lobule health facility to begin accessing better health services in Koboko health centre IV.

Out of the 8 children she has, 4 were delivered in Lobule health facility but because of the hardships in the facility, she decided to deliver the other 4children in Koboko town.

However, the construction of a general ward under Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) has built high hopes in Ayaa which has attracted her back to begin accessing health services in the facility.

"I was not happy with the way admissions were done in this facility. We had a maternity ward where all other admissions were done creating congestion and the right to privacy was not observed in the facility", she said.

She says people should think of upgrading the facility to a health centre IV so that other services like the theatre are available in the facility to avoid the burden of travelling to the town which is very far and expensive.

Ms Mariam Akandru, a mother from Lobule refugee settlement, says services have generally improved in the facility.

She says the number of patients accessing health services in the facility has increased as compared to the past.

"We are grateful to the DRDIP project which has helped in addressing the challenge of infrastructure, power, water and conservation of the environment in the facility. In the past you would see a midwife using a torch in delivering a mother and candles being used in the wards but this is no more", she said.

Mr Jamal Abdulmaliki the in charge of Lobule health centre IV said they had been facing a big challenge of the general ward in the facility.

He said they had only a maternity ward and part of it was used for admissions but the indicators were not coming out properly.

"We had small rooms in the maternity ward for admitting men, women and the children but the newly constructed general ward has addressed all the challenges in admissions in the facility", he said.

Mr Jamal Abdulmaliki

He said since the commissioning of the project in July, the number of deliveries and admissions kept on increasing.

"In the last six months the number of deliveries kept on increasing from 27 to 66 babies which was not the case in the past and also admissions in this facility are now in hundreds but previously we could in a month admit 30-50 patients", Jamal said.

The facility serves a catchment population of 14,136 and 5016 of the refugee population in Lobule Sub County. 

Mr Simon Engabua, the Koboko district DRDIP desk officer said Lobule health facility project was one of the initiatives identified by the community arising from the fact that they had been facing challenges in admissions and provision of health services within the catchment area.

DRDIP took it up and funded the project to the tune of Shs 580million.

"In this project, we had the infrastructure component that covered the general ward, 5stance VIP latrine, and bathing shelter. Apart from that, we had the environment component and social safeguard which constitutes 5 per cent of the total project cost", he said.

"This was a deliberate arrangement as we do the implementation of the infrastructure, we must minimize at all costs the negative environmental impact and also social related risks as a result, part of the money was used to put in place mitigation measures in the project", he added.

DRDIP, is a flagship government of Uganda project funded by the World bank and being implemented under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and its objective, is to improve access to basic social services (health, expand economic opportunities and enhance environmental management for communities hosting refugees in the 15 refugee hosting districts.

The project addresses the social, economic, and environmental impacts of protracted refugee presence in the host communities and refugee settlements through interlinked and investment components.

DRDIP project operates in the 15 refugee host district communities and settlements of Arua, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo, Obongi, Adjumani, Madi Okollo, and Terego in the West Nile sub region, Lamwo in the northern Acholi sub region, Hoima, Kikuube and Kiryandongo in the Bunyoro sub region, Isingiro, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa in the South western region.