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Health ministry to open border health centres

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, was appearing before Parliament’s Committee of Health.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, has said the ministry will soon have 53 functional health centres located at various border points in the country.

She said that the facilities would be equipped with specialized laboratories to support port health services and management of cross-border health issues.

The officials from the ministry met with the Committee on Health on Wednesday, 1 December 2021, to provide an update on health related infrastructure in the country.

Rukungiri Municipality MP, Dr. Elisa Rutahigwa had asked for a progress report on the construction of border health facilities and status under which they would operate.

He also said that facilities at some border points had been completed while other border points designated to have these facilities had nothing.

“It is seemingly selective that some busy border points designated to receive health facilities with laboratories have no sign of construction going on. What level or grading shall we refer to these health facilities?” Dr. Rutahigwa asked.

Dr. Atwine in response said that the health centres are specialised facilities to help with border control health management, and they will be referred to as Port Health Centres.

“In some places, there was no land at the border points for the ministry to purchase and set up the health facilities therefore slowing the project down,” she added.

Dr. Atwine further informed the MPs that they have been working with the East African Community and the neighbouring countries to construct the facilities.

“This was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have previously had other cross-border health challenges and epidemics that had necessitated the installation of these facilities to help provide support to fight outbreaks of diseases like Ebola,” she explained.

Dr. Atwine said, owing to financial constraints, 300 border points will be covered in a phased manner.

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