By Naboth Isaac Niwagaba
The Rubanda District LC.5 Chairperson, Ampeire Stephen Kasyaba, has revealed that the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) Engineering Brigade will undertake construction works at Muko Health Centre IV as it transitions into the district’s first general-purpose hospital.
Last year, the State Minister for General Duties in the Finance Ministry, Henry Musasizi, announced that the government had earmarked U.G. Shs—6.5 billion for the elevation of Muko Health Center IV.
While addressing LC.1 Chairpersons at Muko Sub-county headquarters today, Chairman Kasyaba revealed that the 6.5 billion had been released to the District Bank Account. They were waiting for designs before the construction works began.
Kasyaba also revealed that the UPDF Engineering Brigade would be handed the contract in compliance with the presidential directive that all construction projects in government health institutions should be handled by the army.
In a July 1, 2021, directive to the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of Health, and Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), Museveni argued that the move would help reduce delays that had on several occasions been occasioned on government projects by contractors, thus saving time and money.
Chairman Kasyaba said that the people of Rubanda District were eagerly waiting to receive the first general-purpose hospital at Muko. He also explained that the district authorities would hold an official ceremony to hand over the construction site to the UPDF once the central government releases the designs.
Kasyaba used the platform to announce that five cancer screening machines had been dispatched to five health centers across the district and asked the LC.1 Chairpersons to mobilize people for prostate and cervical cancer screening.
The Secretary for Health and Education in Rubanda District, Obed Mutatiina Kitabutuuka, also informed the local leaders that Muko Health Center II had been elevated to Health Center III and was thus in position to carry out the screening of chronic infections such as Hepatitis B.
ABOUT MUKO HEALTH CENTRE IV
Muko HC IV is one of the two biggest facilities in the district, the other being Hamurwa Health Centre IV in Rubanda East.
Dr. Godfrey Bampabwiire, the in-charge of Muko HC IV, told our reporter that one of their biggest challenges is the absence of staff quarters, which affects service delivery since some stay as far as 5 kilometers away.
He also explained that the maternity ward is too small to accommodate the overwhelming number of expectant mothers admitted to the facility every month.
Despite its limited capacity with only 8 beds in the maternity ward, Muko Health Centre handles over 100 expectant mothers per month with at least six caesarean sections weekly.
Rubanda District Health Officer (DHO, Abdon Birungyi, says that Muko HC IV serves over 100,000 people from Rubanda West and the surrounding areas.