By Andrew Irumba
Masaka: There is huge looming radiation catastrophe at Masaka Referral Hospital and as you read this, medics and patients are stranded.
Reports reaching this website indicate that the Hospital’s X-Ray section was shut down recently by the Uganda Atomic Energy Council (AEC), citing radiation leakage. Dr. Nathan Onyachi, the Medical Director Masaka Hospital, says that “The X-Ray has been closed for two weeks and this has greatly affected health service delivery at the facility.” He notes that they are currently unable to undertake some medical procedures and diagnosis and are sending patients to private health units in Masaka town. AEC-Uganda is mandated to regulate the peaceful application of ionizing radiation, protection and safety of radioactive sources.
A source revealed that the X-Ray section was closed because of the radiation leakage that was exposing the officers operating the machine and the patients to fatal danger. Records at Masaka hospital indicate that the facility receives more than 80 patients daily in need of R-Ray services. Dr. Onyachi however says the hospital biomedical engineer is fixing the problem within the shortest time possible. Paul Yiga, one of the patients found at the hospital, says private facilities charge between Shillings. 30,000- 40,000 for X-Ray services, which is very expensive. He says that he has failed to get treatment since he lacks money to conduct an X-ray as advised by the doctors. Wilson Katongole, another an accident victim was turned away because of failure to access x-ray services.