Better health facilities in Kabale municipality to wait for city status

 By Naboth Isaac Niwagaba

The Ministry of Health Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona has asked Kabale Municipality leaders to wait until the area attains City status for better health facilities.

This was after the leaders led by Kabale Municipality Member of Parliament Dr Nicholas Thadeus Kamara complained about the lack of facilities at the level of Health Centre III in the area.

Dr Kamara said that Kabale Municipality is one of the most densely populated constituencies, yet there was no health centre III in the area to serve people who frequent the only three facilities at the level of health centre II.

Kabale Municipality is home to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, Rugarama Hospital, Rushoroza Hospital and Kamukira Health Centre IV. However, Dr Kamara noted that Kabale Municipality residents were facing competition with people from the entire Kigezi region, for services at the above facilities.

He argued that there was a need to upgrade Health Centre II facilities in the Northern, Southern and  Central Division to Health Centre III status for improved services.

The Southern Division LC.3 Chairperson Maclean Batware said that the only health centre II at the Division headquarters is usually overwhelmed by the locals, yet a lot of services are not offered due to limited equipment, human resource and the required finances.

The Central Division LC.3 Chairperson Sam Arinaitwe said the Ministry of health had earmarked their Health Centre II for an upgrade to Health Centre III, but the plan was shifted to Northern Division after the Ministry realized that Central Division had no space to accommodate the expanded facility.

The Northern Division Chairperson Mucunguzi Isaac Rushoga revealed that they had started clearing land in Ibumba parish after they learnt that Government would avail funds for upgrading  Rutooma Health Centre II to Health Centre III, but the project came to a halt after they waited for funding in vain.

However, Emmanuel Ainebyona explained that the Ministry of Health was only going to provide more Health facilities after Kabale Municipality attains the City status expected in 2023. Ainebyona explained that each Division in the city would have a health centre IV since it is a government policy for cities.

Kabale Tourism City has been the centre of public debate for the last two years after there were sharp disagreements on the proposed boundaries. The Policy on the creation of cities requires a given area to have a population of at least 500,000 people to qualify for city status.

In 2020, Kabale District passed a resolution to have all its current sub counties joined together to form the Kabale Tourism City, while Rubanda District Council in the same year,  proposed annexation of Bubare Subcounty back to Kabale to join the City.

Another proposal by a section of top politicians suggested that Rubanda and Rukiga Districts which were previously part of Kabale District should be annexed back in order to achieve the target of the required population. However other politicians disagreed and argued that only a few parts of Rubanda and Rukiga should be annexed back to Kabale.

All the above disagreements forced the Ministry of local governments to halt planned demarcation of the Kabale Tourism City Boundaries until enough consultations are made.

This was followed by the resolution by the 10th Parliament to have Kabale Tourism City operationalized in 2023.