Mothers and patients seeking maternal health care, family planning, and related services are facing uncertainty after the Teso Safe Motherhood facility in Soroti City temporarily closed. The private facility, located on Ajena Road at Cell H, Senior Quarters Ward, Soroti City West Division, reportedly shut down suddenly without prior notice or explanation.
According to an anonymous staff member, the closure is temporary and is expected to last for four months until January 2024 due to accountability concerns. Dr. Nicholas Okwana, the chairperson of the facility’s board of directors, stated that the facility has not been permanently closed but that services were temporarily suspended to resolve internal issues. He declined to provide specific details about the issues or a reopening date.
Martin Oteger, the director of Finance and Administration at Teso Safe Motherhood Centre, was unavailable for comment at the time of this report.
The facility has been known for providing free services to vulnerable populations in the Teso Sub-region, including HIV testing and counseling services. However, the closure has left expectant mothers and those seeking medical care in a difficult situation.
Martha Akello, a mother of two, expressed concern about the closure, noting that the facility had been a valuable resource for maternal health care services and provided free mama kits for deliveries. Betty Ajalo, another mother, mentioned that management had already rescheduled appointments before the closure.
Ketty Anyumel, a mother from a remote village, emphasized the professionalism of the nurses and midwives at the Teso Safe Motherhood facility, contrasting them with her experiences at government health facilities.
Local businesses, such as Bernadette Akol’s roadside food stall, have also been affected as they relied on the hospital’s clients for sales.
Patrick Asonya, the chairperson of Cell H Village, Senior Quarters Ward, highlighted the facility’s role in deterring criminal activities in the area.
Moses Amolo, the health inspector of Soroti City, refrained from commenting due to a lack of authenticated information regarding the closure.