Kampala-The Ministry of Finance has said government has allocated about Shs7.53b in the next financial year to rehabilitate 300 health centre IIIs across the country.
Speaking during day two of the National Budget week at China-Uganda Friendship Hospital in Naguru yesterday, the State minister of Finance, Mr David Bahati, said government will borrow $200m (about Shs740b) from the World Bank to complete the infrastructure, especially of the health centre IIIs, so that they can reduce the number of referrals.
“We believe that it is important to take services nearer to the people. That is why we are investing a lot in health, we want to make health centres functional and we will be able to see renovation and rehabilitation of more than 300 health centre IIIs in the coming three years,” Mr Bahati said.
He added that there is a perfect correlation between health and wealth because a health population contributes greatly to wealth of the nation and because of the investments they have made overtime, they have started seeing the yields.
He also said they have made a decision as Cabinet to decongest Mulago hospital because currently even those with simple illnesses goes there.
The managing director of Naguru hospital, Mr Emmanuel Batibwe, said there is urgent need to expand the hospital because the number of patients increases every day.
“Overcrowding in the hospital is the main challenge we are facing, we receive Shs1.2b for the drugs which are not adequate and they only cater for 43 and 78 per cent of the needs of the annual basis,” Mr Batibwe said.
He added that they need Shs8b to decongest the maternity and pediatrics units and to get space for other units which are lacking in the referral hospital to cater for emergences and accidents.
Mr John Wanyama, the senior consultant at Naguru hospital, said in most cases, they lack equipment to use because when National Medical Stores supplies resources, they do not last for a month.
“The daily admission of mothers is 30 and the facility accommodates 25 beds, but we try to squeeze in beds to make 37 because we also admit mothers with different complications and all the normal deliveries do not have a ward, they sleep on the floor,” Mr Wanyama said.
He added that one ward accommodates several units and these include obstetrics, gynaecology, labour ward, post-abortion care unit, postnatal, normal deliveries, antenatal ward, special care unit and the Kangaroo care unit.
“Last financial year, we delivered 8,600 mothers in the facility, which was constructed to cater for 25 mothers per day. This has also led to spread of infections such as neonatal sepsis among the newborn because of the congestion,” he said.