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US gov’t to support 10 regional referral hospitals

Masaka regional referral hospital to benefit from the program. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ten regional referral hospitals are set to benefit from a five-year program funded by the United States government aimed at strengthening the coordination of HIV related activities in Uganda. They are Masaka, Arua, Fort Portal, Soroti, Jinja, Mbarara, Lira and Moroto, Kayunga and Bombo military referral hospital.

Tony Kujawa, the Kampala US Embassy spokesperson says the program will support Uganda’s health sector at the national, regional, district and facility levels to combat HIV. Kujawa says the facilities were identified for their capability in promoting access to quality health care services across the country.

He says the hospitals will play a major role in strengthening public health and encourage community ownership of HIV programmes. He explains that the hospitals will also benefit from existing key U.S. government investments in laboratory improvement, data systems and health workforce development among other programmes.

The program will be funded through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of Defense (DOD). Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says the beneficiary hospitals were expected to start receiving funds last month to roll out the activities.

She says the management of HIV/AIDS services has largely been under implementing partners such as Rakai Health Sciences Programme (RHSP) but hospitals have been considered to support the activities.  She explains that CDC will support the hospitals in areas of telemedicine, networking among the hospitals, E-consultations as well as information management.

Dr. Nathan Onyach, the director Masaka Regional Referral Hospital told URN that the CDC will give each hospital UDS 120,000 (approximately Shillings 443,784,000) every year.

Onyach explains that the CDC will fund Masaka, Arua, Fort Portal and Soroti hospitals while Jinja, Mbarara, Lira and Moroto hospitals will receive the funds through USAID while the US Department of Defense-DOD will give funding to Kayunga and Bombo Military Hospital.

He says the funding will further support the supervision of HIV activities, capacity building, planning and coordination.

According to Onyach, the hospitals will utilise the funds to identify various problems and gaps and work together with the district administration to see where they can concentrate efforts to improve health services.

He noted that there are a number of areas to look at the regional referral hospital level such as communicable diseases such as HIV, Malaria Tuberculosis.

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