Mulago Hospital needs about sh40b to construct and fit a new heart institute as the current facility cannot accommodate the growing numbers.
In a related incident this week, 21-year-old Evelyn Adikin went into the record books as the first person to get heart valve replacement surgery in Uganda.
The three-hour operation that was carried out by 16 South Korean and Ugandan heart surgeons moved the country one step towards making valve replacement surgery a regular event.
A bigger, better and well-managed heart institute will save the Ugandan elite millions of shillings that have been routinely spent in seeking heart treatments abroad.
The health of Ugandans should be governmentâ€™s top priority, otherwise, without a healthy population, development is impossible. Unfortunately, the state of Ugandaâ€™s health sector does not reflect this truism.
Going by the incidents of corruption and mismanagement, the health ministry must be one of the most poorly run institutions in Uganda and the ministry is proof, if any was needed, that good management, more than money, is key to well-executed plans.
However, credit should be given where it is due. In their capacity to rise to the occasion to combat emergency situations like the Ebola, cholera, polio and any other number of outbreaks, they seem to have come good. But where they seem to fall short is the ability to strategise and execute plans to ensure the long-term wellbeing of Ugandans. They seem to have curved out a niche as fire-fighters rather than deliberate planners.
The first heart replacement surgery, though a commendable achievement, can easily be dismissed as a publicity stunt to distract us from the underlying problems of our health sector.
The failure of our health system should be placed squarely at the feet of government. The health ministry as a part of government should get its act together and be there for Ugandans every time and not only during emergencies.
Health ministry needs to pull up its socks