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Uganda heart institute asked to vacate UCI premises

FILE PHOTO: Uganda Cancer Institute.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Heart Institute is facing eviction from Mulago. The centre is now in dire need to 256 billion Shillings to construct a home within Kampala.

The institute has occupied the fourth floor of the Uganda Cancer Institute building in Mulago since 2016, at the time the rehabilitation of the Mulago National Referral Hospital complex started. They now have until the end of 2019, to find another place.

The Executive Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Jackson Orem says that the cancer institute is equally constrained and needs additional space for cancer patients whose numbers are steadily increasing.

Dr John Omagino, the Executive Director of the Uganda Heart institute says that they have submitted a request to the government for the construction of a 200 bed capacity facility with three catheter laboratories and three operating rooms. The facility will also have 15 beds in their Intensive Care Unit.

At the moment, the hospital only has one operating room, three beds in ICU and 17 beds in their inpatient facility. The limited space according to doctors has led to many deaths at the hospital.

Dr Omagino says if government cannot afford to give them the money they need, the institute should be allowed to take a loan which can be paid back in seven years.

UHI receives more than 60 patients on a weekly basis. Annually 500 pediatric cases and 1000 adult cases need surgery. But according to Dr Michael Oketcho, a Consultant Cardiovascular surgeon at UHI, only 100 children can be helped because they have a long waiting list.

Last year, a government report by the ministry of Public Service proposed a merger of the heart institute and the cancer institute in order to reduce duplication of work by agencies and ministries. But Dr Omagino says the merger of the two is erroneous because they carry out highly specialized work in different fields.

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