KAMPALA- Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) and Aga Khan University Hospital have entered a partnership aimed at addressing health concerns of the country’s sportsmen.
Most Ugandan sportsmen rarely spare time or lack the means to have their bodies screened before competing while others labour through competitions with health problems.
“We have often competed at the highest level without considering the health of our athletes,” UOC president William Blick said on Friday after the three-year partnership was announced at Diamond Trust Building, Kampala Road where the Aga Khan health facility is housed. “We want to make sure that our sportsmen are in good health before they enter any competition.”
Under the three-year renewable arrangement, elite will receive health insurance cards to be presented at every visit to Aga Khan Hospital.
Routine diagnosis will be done on all the top athletes during camps and build-up to competitions.
Amateur (budding) athletes will be required to pay a subsidized fee depending on the arrangement with their respective federations.
“We’ll make sure that we offer high quality services to both elite and amateur athletes,” Rasalind Parkers-Ratanshi, the Aga Khan Health Service Uganda board of directors chairperson, remarked after signing a memorandum of understanding with UOC.
To help roll off the programme, UOC has received an under water massage machine worth Shs80m from the German government.
The machine is to be handed over to the Aga Khan University Hospital management. Through UOC, Germany has also donated performance diagnostic equipment to Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF).
Joachim Duster, the Germany deputy ambassador to Uganda, handed over the equipment to UAF president Dominic Otucet at Lugogo on Friday.At the World Championships in Moscow two months ago, several members of Team Uganda complained of muscle cramps and blamed their poor displays on lack of a physiotherapist.
UOC has now embarked on training physiotherapists to avoid a recurrence of such a scenario. A group of doctors was also trained in sports medicine last week.