Arua hospital CT-Scan unable to work because of pending software upgrade 

By Nalwadda Nsangi

The  Arua Regional Referral Hospital CT-Scan has not been working for three weeks now because of a pending software upgrade. 

This means patients who need diagnosis or monitoring services for conditions and diseases like  cancer, heart disease, lung nodules, liver masses, muscle and bone disorders, to locate blood clots are not able to access the service. 

The Computed Tomography (CT) scan is necessary to guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy and radiation therapy. 

Hillary Onziga, the in-charge of Radiology and Imaging at the hospital, says the CT-Scan which was installed in December 2022 has not been functional for three weeks. 

Onziga said that they do not have the expertise to fix an operational error that needs a software upgrade.

“We have a challenge of the software that needs to be upgraded continuously and we don’t have the engineers with us here, so when we have a hitch in the software component, we have to call them though they take some days to come,” he revealed. 

He said the hospital can only be on standby because, “The engineers have promised us that they are coming, so we are waiting on them to do the needful.”

Arua hospital has now been forced to patients to other regional referral hospitals to get the CT scan services. 

Onziga said, “The good thing is government has put it (CT scan) in all regional referral hospital, so we go to the nearest referral hospital, we have Gulu, and Lira, so instead of driving to Kampala, we go to those ones to get the same service.”

This has forced the hospital to ensure that, “Our ambulances are always on standby, so when a consultant demands for a CT scan, we just drive for three hours to Gulu.”

Before the machine broke down, Onziga said, “A total of 27 patients were worked upon in December, in January this year, we worked on 27 females, 45 males, and two minors while in February, we had 32 females and 41 males.”

Speaking to Emmanuel Ainebyona, the public relations officer of Ministry of Health, promised that action will be taken.  

“The machine was still in the process of being tested, so it will be worked on because the supplier has to ensure that after testing, they are calibrated to provide an accurate image, so that is something small that will be fixed.”

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