Fear grips patients and medical workers in Abim hospital whenever there is a power blackout.
The hospital that is dependent on hydroelectricity power is left with no option other than using lamps and phone torches.
When we visited the hospital over the weekend, empty lamps stood on tables in the wards without paraffin since there was no power.
Both the attendants and their patients were deep asleep to catch up with the lost long night’s sleep as they spent the dark night watching over themselves.
Joyce Awili, a patient who was rushed to the hospital at night for excessive bleeding during pregnancy, said she was dumped outside by a boda-boda rider who feared to enter the dark ward.
Awili said it took her about 30 minutes to reach the ward to access nurses as her husband was still struggling to find his was due to darkness in the hospital.
Another patient, Hilder Irene Auma from Ayo village said darkness forced her to stay with urine overnight since she couldn’t move out to ease herself.
She noted that whenever it is dark even the nurses get frightened to check on them regularly.
Nurses found in different wards said that they use lamps and phone torches for administering treatment to patients.
The nurses who preferred anonymity for fear of being reprimanded by their bosses said they sometimes conduct deliveries on lamps or torches.
The nurses said dark nights affect work as supervisors fail to monitor those on duty, which gives room to other staff to abandon work.
They also claim that quack took advantage of the darkness in the hospital sometime back and injected a child in the ward.
The hospital administrator, Bradfod Okori acknowledged the crisis in the hospital but noted that the matter has been discussed at higher levels for redress.
He noted that the only generator in the hospital is only run during emergencies.
“Even when we run the generator, it is only connected to the theatre and imagery department, leaving all the wards and the rest of the hospital in total darkness. However, in our meeting, we resolved to have the wards and other places in the hospital connected to the standby generator”, Okori said on phone.
Abim hospital made news headlines during the last presidential campaigns after the opposition leader; Dr. Kizza Besigye visited and exposed the ‘rot’ in the hospital.
Government later released money for renovation of the hospital but little was done on the lighting system. Only the laboratory and administration departments have solar systems.