THE Japanese government has given Uganda a sh2.8b grant to purchase medical equipment and rehabilitate two hospitals in Masaka and Mubende districts.
The grant agreement was signed by finance minister Syda Bbumba and the Japanese ambassador to Uganda, Keiichi Kato, at the Ministry of Finance offices in Kampala yesterday.
Kato said improvement of health services was one of Japanâ€™s priorities in supporting Uganda. He said health plays a big role in development.
â€œIt is my honour, on behalf of the government of Japan, to sign the grant agreement to rehabilitate hospitals and supply medical equipment,â€ Kato said.
He noted that the first stage of the project would involve rehabilitation of facilities and provision of medical equipment, while actual construction work would be commissioned next year in the second stage.
â€œFacilities such as maternity ward, operation theatre and out-patient ward will be rehabilitated and improved so that more than 344,000 people benefit,â€ he added.
Kato said health indicators remain very poor with 550 pregnant women out of every 100,000 dying in labour.
About 72 children out of 1,000 live births die before the age of five, and the percentage of births with skilled attendants stands at 42%, he noted.
â€œWith Ugandaâ€™s population growing at the rate of 3.3%, which is one of the highest in the world, the demand for health services will increase tremendously in a few years. This calls for more efforts in the sector,â€ Kato said.
Bbumba thanked the Japanese government for boosting the health sector in the country.
She said the agreement would promote the relationship existing between the two countries.
Bbumba said Masaka and Mubende districts had the oldest referral hospitals but lacked facilities to cater for the growing demand for health services.
Japan govt to renovate hospitals