Renovation of Nakaseke Hospital Stalls for 27 years. Top story

7666 Views Nakaseke, Uganda

In short
Nakaseke Hospital is where Generals Elly Tumwine and Salim Saleh had crucial life saving operations during the Bush War. Built in the 1960's, the hospital was vandalized by NRA fighters between 1981-1986. Other hospital facilities were looted during the insurgency leaving it in a sorry state.

The renovation of Nakaseke Hospital that offered medical supplies to National Resistance Army (NRA) fighters during the guerrilla war has stalled for 27 years enraging veterans and residents.

Built in the 1960's, the hospital was vandalized by NRAfighters between 1981-1986. Other hospital facilities were looted during the insurgency leaving it in a sorry state.

Nakaseke LC 5 Chairman Ignatius Koomu says that when President Yoweri Museveni captured power in 1986 he promised to ensure the hospital is renovated immediately and equipped again.

However 27 years later, the hospital is slipping into oblivion. The ceilings have caved in while windows and door panels have broken down. Fearful patients and medical workers expect the facility to collapse on them at any moment, Koomu adds

It might not be immediately evident but Koomu proudly recalls that this is the very hospital that carried out crucial, life saving operations on key rebel commanders like Generals Elly Tumwine and Salim Saleh.

General Elly Tumwine is famous for reportedly firing the opening shot that announced the beginning of the five year Bush War that would bring the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to power in 1986.   

General Salim Saleh was one of the most charismatic rebel commanders who was fearless in battle and received many injuries. He is also President Yoweri Museveni's younger brother and one of his most trusted advisers on military matters. 

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Although it is a major hospital, Nakaseke Medical Suprintendant Dr. David Mubeezi reveals that it is left with only one functional theatre to carry out operations. He adds that they need more staff and medical supplies.

Moses Ssenfuma, a Bush War veteran and chairperson LC 3 of Kapeeka Sub County, sadly notes that for that for last six years, the Ministry of Health has been allocated funds and promised to renovate the hospital. This has never happened and no explanation has been forthcoming.

Leticia Nakabuye, a patient, says that the hospital is overwhelmed by the number of people who seek treatment. The numbers challenge the hospital's sanitation and very limited accommodation facilities.
Fred Ssenfuka, village Health Team volunteer in Nakaseke Sub County, says apart from the buildings, the hospital has not had ambulance for last 15 years.
When contacted for comment, the Spokesperson for Ministry Of Health, Rukia Nakamatte admitted that there  had been a delay to renovate the hospital but blamed it on the prolonged procurement exercise by Government of Uganda and its partner the World Bank.

She however noted that the Ministry of Health has secured a fund of 125 million dollars from World Bank to renovate 12 hospitals in the country and Nakaseke Hospital is among the first beneficiaries. Nakamatte says that renovation  will start before end of 2013.

Over 6000 patients visit Nakaseke Hospital per month. The hospital receives patients from Nakaseke, Luweero, Wakiso, Nakasongola and Mityana districts.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.