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Govt to build centres for infectious diseases

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th September 2019 01:50 PM

Dr. Olaro said the construction of permanent isolated centres will begin with Entebbe, Bwera and Mulago before moving across the country.

Govt to build centres for infectious diseases

Dr. Olaro said the construction of permanent isolated centres will begin with Entebbe, Bwera and Mulago before moving across the country.

From Right: Salim Hasham, Executive Chairman, Mediheal Group of Hospitals, Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman, Africa Health Federation and Alexander Oketch, Projects Development Director, GE Healthcare - Eastern Africa at the Sheraton Hotel during the 7th Annual Africa Hospital Expansion Summit


The Government is to construct isolated centres for highly infectious/contagious diseases, the Director of clinical services at the ministry of health, Dr Charles Olaro has said.

Dr Olaro told delegates that the government has been using temporal isolation structures to handle patients whenever there is an outbreak of highly infectious diseases such as Ebola, influenza, bad flu and others.

"We are moving away from temporal structures to permanent ones," Dr Olaro said.

Dr. Olaro said the construction of permanent isolated centres will begin with Entebbe, Bwera and Mulago before moving across the country.

Dr. Olaro made remarks during the 7th annual Africa hospital expansion summit at Kampala Sheraton Hotel on Thursday 19th September 2019

The summit meant to the address the needs and gaps of healthcare systems in the continent attracted over 100 delegates from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and others also attended by major Healthcare OEMs namely, American Conglomerate General Electric, Dutch-based Philips, German-based Siemens, among others.

He informed delegates that currently there are 6,937 health facilities across the country of which 45% are government-owned while 14% are for-profit run by faith-based organisations and the rest are for the private sector.

He said the government has created enabling policy for public, private partnership and provides subsidies for non-profit organisations.

Dr Olaro also told participants that the government is to set up laboratories in Lacor hospital in Gulu, Mbale and Mbarara hospitals to detect contagious diseases.

On the expansion of health facilities, Dr Olaro explained that when resources are available government plans to expand Health Centres IIIs and IVs across the county to match the growing population while at the same discussion at an advanced stage to modernize 50 Health centres.

He said 70% of the disease burden is preventable.

The director said the government was grappling with inadequate infrastructure and poor maintenance of equipment but is addressing the latter by training students in biomedical engineering at Kyambogo and Makerere universities as well as Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Addressing participants, Salim Hasham, the executive chairman of Mediheal and former Vice-President at Aga Khan University Hospital Group said Africa has made significant strides in addressing healthcare outcomes despite challenges countries have encountered.

Hasham cited improvements such as life expectancy and infant mortality as a sign of commitment by African governments towards a healthier population.

He, however, noted that a lot needs to be done since healthcare access in Africa is still constrained by criteria such as patient's income or location.

Alexander Oketch projects development director, GE Healthcare emphasised that the private sector will play a critical role in achieving universal healthcare in Africa through partnership. Oketch who was one of the speakers at the conference noted that in order to bridge Africa's infrastructure gap, this would require the commitment of both the public and private sector.

Andrew Van de Water, Philips Healthcare large scale programme manager told delegates that African governments need to address the rising cases of cancer and heart disease taking into account the cost-effectiveness and sustainable healthcare.

Dr Amit Thakker, founder East Africa Healthcare Federation stressed the need of enriching African health sector with the right mix of players in the area of finance, operation, management and education.

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