Mulago Specialised Women Hospital roof leaks after three years

Jan 23, 2022

When contacted, the health ministry permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said: “I cannot comment now. I am in a meeting.”

The new Mulago Specialised Hospital Maternal and Neonatal centre that was commissioned in 2018..

Paul Kiwuuwa
Journalist @New Vision


KAMPALA - Barely three years after the handover of Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital (MSWNH) Kampala to the Government, the roof has started leaking. 

“The leaking roof has damaged the wall paint, plaster, ceiling and when water seeps through, it affects the beams and walls,” the entity’s executive director, Dr Evelyne Nabunya, told legislators on the committee of health. 

On October 3, 2018, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the 450-bed capacity hospital. Construction commenced on June 8, 2015, by Arab Contractors, an Egyptian firm and was completed and equipped in August 2018. 

The new Mulago specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital was funded using a $25m loan from the Islamic Development Bank.

The hospital is piped to enable medical gases, nitrous oxide and oxygen to be pumped directly to patients on their beds without using an oxygen cylinder. 

Situated on Mulago Hill, which serves as a centre for training, research and medical development, the nine-storey facility offers modern maternal and neonatal care for mothers and babies. 

It has contributed to the reduction in maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country. 

The hospital was equipped with specialised health care in the areas of imaging, laboratory (DNA, hematology and Chemistry analysers, IVF equipment and hemoglobin electrophoresis), surgery (laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, surgical sets and endoscopies) and critical care equipment (ventilators, defibrillators and patient monitors) at a cost of $8m. 

'Notify the contractor'

While meeting Dr Nabunya over the next financial year budget estimates, the committee vice chairperson, Joel Ssebikaali (Ntwetwe County), tasked the hospital head with notifying the contractor about the leakages. 

Nabunya said she had notified the project manager in the infrastructure department of the health ministry, who inspected the faults for repairs. 

“In just three years, the entity is leaking. The contractor should be held liable for the shoddy work,” Ssebikaali said. 

In her response, Nabunya said: “Arab Contractors Osman Ahamed Osman and Company is the contractor, perhaps they used roofing materials that cannot withstand the heavy rains in Uganda.” 

Kabale Municipality MP Dr Nicholas Thaddeus Kamara said: “Rains worldwide is the same, you cannot say Uganda has heavy rains causing leakages. We blame poor workmanship on the contractor. Other contractors build entities that last over 10 years without leaking.

Sylvia Bahireira (Kamwenge MP) said: “The most worrying consequence if it's left untreated, the water leaks may cause structural damages resulting in deaths.

Ministry speaks out 

When contacted, the health ministry permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said: “I cannot comment now. I am in a meeting.”

The ministry spokesperson, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, said he was not aware of the leakages and promised to take the necessary steps. 

Contractors speak 

Rammy Essa, the technical manager of Arab Contractors Uganda Limited, said: “We did the work and the Government issued us a performance certificate,” he said. 

The certificate was prepared by Joe Aita, the chief executive officer of Joadh Consult, recommended by the then project co-ordinator. 

He said the health ministry director general of health services, Dr Henry Mwebesa; Mulago Hospital executive director Dr Baterana Byarugaba and Atwine endorsed the completion certificate. 

The performance contractor certificate reads: “The contractor completed 100% of the works on October 7, 2017, with a defect liability period that started on the same date and it ended on October 7, 2018.” 

The joint inspection was carried out and all the defects were corrected “Under our contractual obligation, we handed over the building after qualifying the international building standards. The health ministry has the responsibility to repair the building,” Essa said. 

“Arab Contractors Uganda Limited did not sign any contract to repair the entity. Therefore, we cannot meet the costs of repairs.”


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