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Renovation works at a standstill on the National isolation center

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health is yet to award a contract for the completion of the remodeling of the National isolation centre.

The National isolation centre located in Manyago, Entebbe municipality was set up in 2009 to handle medical emergencies that require isolation such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-SARS and Ebola.

In 2015, the World Bank allocated 2 Billion Shillings for the renovation. However, the renovation works have stalled for over a month now after the Ministry of Health cancelled the contract for Synergy Enterprises Ltd over incompetence.

Initially, the company was supposed to complete the project by June 2020. However, the project stalled overtime and its timelines were equally affected by the outbreak of coronavirus disease-COVID-19. As a result, the ministry extended the completion date first to August, then to October 2020.

Eng. George Otim, the Commissioner Health Infrastructure at the Health Ministry says the ministry has sourced for the new contractor for the isolation centre in Entebbe as an emergency procurement because the normal procurement process would have taken at least 3 months.

The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, 2003 (as amended), provides for emergency procurement done by government ministries, departments or agencies.

The law thereby requires the contracts committee of the entities to make a resolution to undertake an emergency procurement process and present it to the accounting officer for approval. The accounting officer who is the Permanent Secretary ministry of health must however seek approval from PPDA for the emergency procurement before awarding the contract.

According to Otim, BMK Uganda Ltd could most likely get the contract because the company is about to complete the remodeling of the TB ward isolation ward at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital.

Otim says 95 percent of the works have been completed and will be able to complete the renovation works at the isolation centre in Entebbe.

The isolation centre is expected to handle COVID-19 patients and suspects who are currently being managed at Entebbe regional referral hospital.

Otim says that the ministry has so far paid Synergy Enterprises Ltd 1.1 Billion Shillings and the balance of 1.7 Billion Shillings could be paid to BMK to complete the project within 3 months effective January 2021.

By the time the contractor left the site two weeks ago, pending works included setting up a waste decontaminating unit, remodeling of the former Tuberculosis ward into a multipurpose unit, plastering, installing washroom facilities and finishing the ceiling and floor works. An extra gate has been created for ambulances to bring in new cases to a newly created block.



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