"Space and funding have been the biggest problem in us achieving our aim."
KAMPALA - In the wake of being recognized as an a autonomous body by the Parliament Act, the Uganda Heart Institute is planning to put up a $65m (sh225bn) structure to enable them carry out their work effectively.
The institute believes that its planned new home will allow for more space for operation and also training of more specialists to help treat heart patients in the country.
Executive Director Dr. John Omagiro said the new home which will have three structures will help promote their output in terms of operations and the technical ability in research and training of manpower to handle heart-related cases.
"We have already secured a 2.5 acre land on Owen Road, with the building plans approved by the city authority,” he said at a breakfast meeting in Kampala.
“The structure will have space for a clinic and patients on one tower, space for education and research and the final one will act as accommodation for critical workers, research fellows ad other guests.”
Omagiro said that $51m is required for the construction of the new home and the remaining amount for equipping it with the required machinery needed.
From left, Uganda Heart Institute executive director Dr. John Omagiro mingles with Parliament clerk Jane Kibirige and health minister Jane Aceng. (Credit: Norman Katende)
Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said that the government is excited that the institute has been able to reduce the number of patients travelling abroad for operations and promised government’s help in seeing that they put up the home.
"We shall work closely with you to ensure that the new home is put up. We need it. The people need it. I believe that money is not a problem but how to prioritise it so that we get the best results," she said at the meeting.
She also appealed for a change in lifestyle for Ugandans to at least reduce the chances of being potential patients at the institute.
The institute carried out 478 heart operations in the last financial year and although their facilities can enable them carry out 1000 operations in a financial year, lack of space with only 12 beds in the ICU makes it impossible to do so.
"Space and funding have been the biggest problem in us achieving our aim," said Omagiro, who noted that the institute has over 12,000 visitors, with about 50% of these diagnosed with heart diseases.
"Space and funding can enable us to serve the population and that is why we are looking for a new home.”
Uganda Heart Institute team and wellwishers in a group photo. (Credit: Norman Katende)