02 October 2018 - The President of Uganda, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni commissioned the newly constructed Specialized Women's and Neonatal Hospital.
Situated on Mulago Hill which serves as a center of training, research and medical development, the 9 storey facility will offer world-class maternal and neonatal care to all mothers and babies in Uganda and will contribute to a reduction in the high rates of Maternal and newborn Mortality in the country.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, President Museveni emphasized that the hospital will serve only as a referral facility. "Do not come here with diarrhea or cough or fever. Those will be managed by the lower health facilities" he said while calling upon the health centers to scale down on referrals.
President Museveni called upon the public to embrace simple preventive measures and avoid coming to the hospitals. "A lot can be achieved through behavior change, good nutrition, sleeping under a mosquito net to avoid Malaria and proper hygiene" he said.
President Museveni noted that the construction of this facility will bring an end to Medical tourism that the country has been facing over the years.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng noted that since the hospital opened its doors to the public on 17 September,2018, a total of 1040 Out Patients have been worked on, of which 244 attended antenatal care services, 710 were gynecological out-patients, 42 received ultra sound scans, 213 laboratory tests conducted and about 74 patients returned to be reviewed.
"For in-patients, the hospital has recorded 9 admissions, one normal delivery and four caesarean sections. The hospital has delivered 6 babies, that include a pair of twins and all the babies are alive and in a stable condition" Aceng highlighted amidst thunderous applauses from the public.
"As an independence gift to the people of Uganda, the hospital has been offering free services to all patients from the time of opening until 9 October and thereafter a fee will be charged" Aceng added. The charges were approved by Cabinet to maintain the hospital as well as appropriately remunerate the highly specialized staff.
Aceng informed that a committee has been put in place to develop the criteria for poor patients who are unable to afford but require the services. All patients accessing services from this facility are required to appropriately follow the referral guidelines and have referral notes and all Ugandan nationals must carry their National IDs.
Construction of this hospital commenced on 8 June 2015 by Arab Contractors - an Egyptian firm and was completed and equipped in August 2018. The 450 bed capacity hospital was completed at a cost of USD 25.14m; a loan obtained from Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
The loan was also used to finance the training of health workers in specialized maternal and neonatal areas where there were skills gaps. Training was also carried out in management and clinical excellence e.g. leadership, governance and basic computer skills.
The Executive Director of Mulago Hospital, Dr. Byarugaba Baterana pledged to maintain the hospital and prevent equipment breakdown.
The hospital has been equipped with highly specialized health care in the areas of; imaging, laboratory (DNA, Hematology and Chemistry analyzers, IVF equipment and Hemoglobin electrophoresis), Surgery (laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, surgical sets and endoscopies) and critical care equipment (ventilators, defibrillators, patient monitors]) at a cost of USD 8m.
The IDB Operations Team leader, Sadik Teyeb urged the Government of Uganda to allocate adequate funds to maintain the hospital infrastructure, equipment and staff. "This facility will not only enhance access to specialized treatment but also contribute to development of the much needed highly skilled health workforce" he said.
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