By Hannah Marion Namukasa
The much awaited teaching hospital in Bukedea has finally reached its final stages, rising hopes for better healthcare services.
Speaker of Parliament Anita Among established this teaching hospital in Bukedea District in a bid to bring specialised medical services closer to the people.
According to Odongo Samuel Afro from Anita Foundation, the construction works are now at 90 percent complete
He said a state-of-the-art theatre has already been fitted at the facility while the installation of hospital beds in different wards is currently ongoing.
“We expect all these works to be completed in a month’s time,” Odongo said in an interview on Friday.
The hospital is expected to be operational in January 2024.
Located in Bukedea Town Council, about 33 kilometres along Mbale-Kumi highway, the hospital, which is nearing completion, shall offer specialised and general treatment for various health conditions on top of having a medical school.
“The hospital is at a capacity of a regional referral and is directly going to address the issue of Bukedea people travelling far to seek improved treatment,” said Odongo.
Ms Among’s decision to set up the facility was prompted by the fact that Bukedea lacks specialised health services, with the highest ranking facility in the district being a government health centre IV serving a population of close to 300,000 people.
Bukedea Health Centre IV is supported by eight other government health centre IIIs and IIs dotted across the district.
However, due to the inadequate services offered at these facilities occasioned by drug stock outs, limited staff, and lack of enough equipment, many people in Bukedea have been forced to travel long distances to seek improved medical help.
Mr Odongo said the hospital shall have doctors and consultants offering, among others, specialised treatment in gynaecology, orthopaedics and surgery.
“The hospital shall have both general treatment and have enough bed facilities to handle emergencies and intensive care,” he said, adding that the facility shall also offer employment opportunities to hundreds of people, with emphasis given to those from Bukedea.
The hospital shall also have a medical school, Bukedea Institute of Health Sciences.
The school shall offer certificates and diplomas in nursing, midwifery and certificate and medical laboratory technology.
Residents of Bukedea have hailed Ms Among, who is also the district Woman MP, for bringing key investments in the area while also focusing on addressing the health needs of her people.
“Having a professional medical school in our district is in a long run going to build the human resource capacity of the area and this shall directly add value to the communities,” Mr Julius Emokori from Kasoka Village said.
When contacted, Ms Among said: “Government has really done its part to ensure health care services are brought closer to the people. It incumbent on us as leaders to bridge the remaining gap in ensuring that healthcare services are made available for all, at affordable rates.”
In 2017, while President Museveni was Commissioning the construction of Bukedea Comprehensive Academy, Ms Among pledged to set up a teaching hospital to address the health needs of the people. In the same year.construction work started.
Ms Among has contributed a lot more in the provision of better health services in Bukedea District.
She has provided two modern ambulances to handle medical emergencies in the district; one in Kachumbala County and another for Bukedea County. She recently brought another ambulance lobbied from government and it is at Bukedea Health Centre IV.
The Speaker last year organised a medical camp in Bukedea, running from September 15 to 19, in assocation with the Uganda Medical Students Association. This brought in doctors who worked at Kolir Health Center III, Malera HC III, Kidongole HC III, Kabarwa HC III, Kachumbala HC III and Emokori grounds.
At least 12,000 residents benefitted from the camp which offered services such as general body check-ups, minor surgeries, hygiene and Sanitation, STD treatment, cancer screening, HIV Aids counseling, et cetera.
The Bukedea Woman MP last year donated Shs50m to support the construction of a maternity ward at Kolir Health Centre III.
Speaker Among used her position to push the Ministry of Health to consider making timely deliveries of medicine at all government Health Facilities in Bukedea district this on top of her helping demand for the upgrade of a number of Health Centre IIs to Health Centre IIIs. This saw Kangole Health Centre II in Kangole Sub-county, Akuoro Health Centre II in Bukedea Sub-county and Nalugai Health Centre II in Kachumbala Sub-county all recently upgraded to health centre III status.
She has also donated hospital beds, mattresses at all the government health facilities in the district