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Government vows to construct new health centres, upgrade existing ones

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inside one of the existing health facilities

Government will construct new health centres and upgrade existing ones in areas that lack such facilities, the Minister of Health, Hon. Sarah Opendi has said.

The Minister said that health centre IIs will be upgraded to Health Centre III status, while Health Centre IIIs will be upgraded to Health Centre IVs.

“Our priority will be to serve the hard to reach areas or those areas that have no health facilities and are not covered by a general hospital,” Hon. Opendi said.

The Minister, who was responding to issues of concern raised by MPs from Buhweju district, said that government will also prioritise hilly or mountainous areas and the islands.

The legislators raised the issue of hard to reach health facilities in the district, which they blamed for loss of life.

Hon. Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju) said Buhweju district, with 8 subcounties only had three HCIIIs, one Health Centre IV and also lacked a general hospital.

He said that the district health service staffing stood at only 31 percent and that three women had died last week because they could not access health services in time.

Hon. Oliver Katwesigye (Ind., Buhweju district) said 5 – 8 women died during labour because health facilities are hard to reach in the hilly district.

sarah-opendi

Minister of Health, Hon. Sarah Opendi

In response, Minister Opendi also said that the process would commence with availability of funds that will also cater for staff salaries.

Meanwhile, the Minister refuted allegations that 15 children die everyday at the Kawempe branch of Mulago hospital.

“According to statistics, Mulago Hospital has lost approximately one newborn per day due to unavoidable circumstances,” Hon. Opendi said.

She said that since the withdrawal of Senior House Officers on 1st Nov, 2016 todate, Mulago has lost 31 newborns.

“These deaths were majorly as a result of severe birth asphyxia and complications associated with prematurity. Severe asphyxia is largely caused by prolonged labour, which is a consequence of late referrals,” said Hon. Opendi.

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