The Health Committee was in Kasese town on Wednesday for an oversight visit to Kilembe Mines Hospital whose closure has sparked controversy, demonstrations and arrest of people including local leaders .This follows a matter of national importance raised last week by area MP. Ferigo Kambale.
Kilembe Mines Hospital was closed in May 2020 due to repeated flooding of river Nyamwamba.
The Health Committee started with a brief meeting on Tuesday evening with Kasese district and municipal council leaders. A section of leaders accuse fellow leaders for conniving with the Ministry of Health to withdraw equipment and funding for essential medicines from Kilembe Hospital.
The committee learnt that Kilembe Mines Hospital was run through a tripartite partnership with the government and the Kasese Catholic Diocese. Upon the expiry of the partnership agreement in 2021, the diocese withdrew support and retained equipment
“We initially held a meeting with the Bishop,he presented a 17 page list of items for handover to Kilembe Hospital, but later we received a one page letter from Ministry of Health Instructing the Diocese to hand over few items” Richard Bomera, chairperson LC111,Bulembia division
Local leaders were also concerned that the Ministry of Health no longer supplies essential medicines to the hospital. Area MP, Ferigo Kambale says the hospital serves 6 mountainous sub counties who walk long distances to access health care.
Hon Ferigo Kambale said the Kilembe Hospital closure has heightened tension as residents have attempted to burn offices of some district leaders. He appealed to Parliament to quickly restore the funding for essential medicines to support the community around Kilembe.
The Health Committee on Wednesday morning visited the former site of Kilembe Mines Hospital that was destroyed by the repeated floods from River Nyamwamba. Currently the hospital is housed in a nearby trading center and still offers health services.
Reports from the district show that the Ministry of Water and Environment has injected Shs 32 billion to desilt the river.
The Health Committee also visited the proposed site for construction of Kilembe Mines Hospital; located quite far from River Nyamwamba and on a raised place. The proposed site sits on six acres and belongs to Kilembe Mines Ltd.