Uganda Gets Ugx52 Billion Loan to Build Ebola Isolation Facility

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In short
Opio adds that the facility will improve medical care delivery to persons whose illnesses meet Ebola case definitions, while also allowing for the safe isolation of patients to break chains of transmission in case of any outbreak.

Ministry of Health has received 52 billion Shillings from the World Bank to construct an Ebola isolation facility at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Dr Opio Alex, the project coordinator of East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the facility is aimed at strengthening Ebola case management and surveillance in the country.

Opio adds that the facility will improve medical care delivery to persons whose illnesses meet Ebola case definitions, while also allowing for the safe isolation of patients to break chains of transmission in case of any outbreak.

He adds that the facility will also be vital for isolation of patients who are awaiting Ebola diagnostic test results and for provision of basic care such as oral rehydration salts solutions to patients confirmed to have Ebola.

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He says that two state of the art ambulances will be bought as part of the funding to ensure that there is a standby ambulance to transport the patients in case of any outbreak. The same funding, in form of a loan, will also facilitate refurbishment of the Ebola isolation unit in Entebbe.
 
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Opio told URN that part of the money will be used to improve the standards of the laboratories in regional referral hospitals across the country as part of follow up to the East African Public Health Networking Project designed to help hospitals upgrade their laboratories to international standards.

Selected facilities include Mulago, Mbale, Arua, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospitals and St Mary's Hospital Lacor. These jointly which benefited from the 30 billion Shillings project initiated in 2011 through which only Mulago is now graded as a five start laboratory facility with international recognition.
 
Nangosa Hamidah, the senior quality manager at Mulago hospital says the development would help build confidence in the quality of results obtained from Mulago Hospital Laboratories.
 
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Laboratories in Mbale and Mbarara Hospital were graded as four stars implying that they still need to improve to achieve a five star status. Opio however says that although the upgrading exercise was done in all hospitals at the same time, Lacor and Arua laboratories are still lacking.
 
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Opio says that the effort is aimed at improving the accuracy of the results obtained from the laboratories to help in quick diagnosis of diseases leading to right medicine prescription.
 
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About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).