A bill to designate Mulago as a super specialised facility is being worked on, and soon will be presented to Cabinet
Health minister Jane Ruth Acheng addresses the press at Uganda Media Center. Photo by Mary Kansiime
Mulago Hospital will no longer admit patients with communicable diseases, effective July this year, the minister of health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, has announced.
“Mulago will be working on only cases that need specialists. It will be a super specialised facility to handle major surgeries and transplants. The cases of communicable diseases will be handled by lower health facilities so as to decongest the referral hospitals,” Aceng said.
A communicable disease is one that is spread from one person to another through a variety of ways that include: contact with blood and bodily fluids, breathing in an airborne virus or by being bitten by an insect.
Addressing a news conference at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Friday, the minister said in the next financial year 2018/19, the health ministry will increase the number of referral hospital to 17 to cater for patients who have been seeking treatment from Mulago.
Aceng said a bill to designate Mulago as a super specialised facility is being worked on, and soon will be presented to Cabinet for consideration.
“We need to decongest Mulago. Cases which congest Mulago should move elsewhere. The burden of communicable diseases is breaking the country. It is our responsibility to remind the population of preventive measures such as boiling drinking water, wash hands after using the toilets, dispose faeces appropriately,” the minister appealed.
In May 2016, Mulago's outpatient clinics were moved to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Kiruddu Hospital in Makindye and Kawempe. The two hospitals were recently elevated to referral status.
The minister revealed that plans are underway to build a hospital in Rubaga to serve Rubaga division.
Highlighting the ministry priorities in the next financial year, the minister said they will upgrade 125 health centre IIs to IIIs in 99 local governments and renovate 80 health centre IIIs to operate maternity wards, and provide staff accommodation.
She said the ministry is to recruit at least two Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) per parish to monitor and promote community health services. The over 15,000 CHEWS will educate locals on hygiene and sanitation, maternal health, nutrition and ways of preventing diseases among other health related issues.
“Our goal is to establish and strengthen the community health workers program as part of the national health system in order to bring services closer to the community and ensure equitable distribution of community and household centred health care services,” she explained.
Other priories include: addressing human resource challenges in the sector through attraction, motivation, retention, training and development.
The reduction of referrals abroad by training, recruitment and motivation of specialists, improving blood collection and improvement of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services to reduce on mortality and morbidity and improve their health status.
Achievements registered in the last two years include: the completion of rehabilitation and equipping of 9 hospitals under World Bank funding with increased annuals budgets: These are Mityana, Nakaseke, Kiryandongo, Entebbe Grade B, Nebbi, Anaka, Iganga, Moyo and Moroto.
Construction of 10 theatres and 16 maternity wards and water supply of 40,000 litre reservoir for 26 health centre IVs. These are Aboke, Aduku, Atiak, Budaka, Budondo, Bugono, Buvuma, Buyinja, Bwijanga, Kabuyanda, Kasanda, Kibuku, Kiganda, Kikamulo, Kitwe, Kiyunga, Kyantungo, Mwera, Mwizi, Nankoma, Ngoma, Ntenjeru-Kojja and Obongi.
A total of 178 specialists have been funded to pursue different courses in cancer related disciplines including 14 specialist oncology fellowships (10 of whom are in the fellowship training programmes at the Uganda Cancer Institute), radio pharmaceutics and 10 PhDs.
The minister said a total of 964,232 adults and 64,677 children received anti-retroviral treatment under the test and treat policy this financial year.
The transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their new born babies fell to less than 3,000 babies in the same year.