President Museveni yesterday commissioned the refurbished Entebbe General Hospital with a call to Ministry of Health officials to focus on disease prevention.
“On this day, I would like to remind you that what matters in life isn’t the hospital but the prevention of diseases. If you immunise your children, you prevent about 13 diseases,” Mr Museveni said.
Mr Museveni, addressing a gathering at Lunyo Police Playgrounds in Entebbe Town, said immunisation, good personal hygiene, good sanitation, feeding on a balanced diet plus living a responsible lifestyle can help prevent diseases.
“Feed well, drink clean water, go to hospitals and get vaccinated and with that, you will have achieved an 80 per cent prevention chance against diseases” Mr Museveni said. The president also tasked parents to take their girls aged 8-12 years for vaccination against cervical cancer.
“The Ministry of Health should educate the population on disease prevention on radio stations and the radios should allocate more time for health programmes as opposed to spending time abusing me,” the President said.
According to the medical superintendent, Dr Moses Muwanga, the hospital’s bed capacity has been increased from 100 to 200.
“The new infrastructure has introduced new departments which were not in the old hospital and we have both public and private wings,” Dr Muwanga said.
He added that the hospital currently offers radiology services, laboratory, both private and public maternity services, immunisation, theatre operations and orthopaedics plus a full-fledged executive suite.
However, Dr Muwanga observed that the new structure comes with challenges like lack of critical specialised medical personnel and inadequate funds for its maintenance.
While responding to lack of specialist medical personnel, the Health minister, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said: “Normally each hospital is supposed to have a gynaecologist, paediatrician and physician so I am going to check and see where there is wage provision for that… Then we can work with the district service commission to attract, identify and recruit the necessary specialists.”
The hospital construction cost about $7m (about Shs23.2b) and is part of the nine hospitals that have received a facelift under a $52 million (Shs172.6b) grant provided to government by the World Bank. The Hospital receives up to 300 daily out patients and serves residents from Wakiso, Entebbe, Mpigi districts and nearby islands.
Formally known as Entebbe Grade B Hospital, the hospital was closed in 2013 to pave way for its renovation and expansion. Previously, the hospital was only meant for private patients. However, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye says that the newly constructed facility will be accessed by both public and private patients. He added that it has executive wings like any other general hospital but ordinary Ugandans can also access medical services free of charge.