PAKWACH. A section of leaders in Pakwach district local government have demanded the government to give them a district hospital to stop over reliance on the current health centre IV.

They said the health centre IV has been overwhelmed as evidenced by constant referrals to Gulu, Nebbi and Arua hospitals with cases which would have been managed within.

The demand for the hospital was made on Wednesday during a handover of an Ambulance to the district health office by the district woman members of parliament Ms Jane Avur Pacutho.

According to Mr Paul Ajal, the district health officer, the lack of an autonomous hospital has made it hard to store blood and conduct major surgeries.

Among the major referral cases at the facility are fatal accidents, major surgeries resulting from maternal health and sickle cell cases that require blood transfusion.

He said they should be granted a district hospital as they struggle to meet preliminary requirements.

"We are facing a major challenge of referring emergencies and to reduce this, we request the government to grant us a self-hospital, and with the ambulances donated so far, this is a good start up point", he said.

Ms Stella Abyeto, the Pakwach district chief administrative officer implored the area members of parliament to push for the quick granting of the hospital on the floor of the parliament since several formal requests have not been responded to.

"We have written several letters to the ministry but the response is slow, we are prepared to have our own hospital to minimize the community challenges, our parliamentarians please help us in this agenda", she said.

The district is also grappling with congestion at Pakwach health centre IV after National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) stopped any further construction at the health unit due to its proximity to the Nile.

However, Mr Robert Omito Steen, the district chairman said they have huge chunk of land at district headquarters at Kapita for the establishment of the district hospital.

He said as the district awaits for the government to consider the plan, they have initiated a plan to have an independent hospital built as a centre of health sciences in the name of V.L Ongom memorial.

Ms Hellen Akongo, an expectant mother at Pakwach health IV said issues of constant power, water and general hygiene and sanitation should be given priority if a hospital is to be granted.

"Mothers at the health centre have suffered more , I want constant power in the new hospital and enough drugs to minimize cases of referrals, also enough blood for mothers who lose blood during delivery", Akongo said.

The woman Member of Parliament pledged to support the district by donating the ambulance with its full power and management placed under the district health authority.

She urged the health workers to attend to emergencies and also cautioned against exploitation of patients through unnecessary charges and promised to follow up on the documentations in the ministries.