West Nile. Rhema Hospital, a private institution in West Nile, has secured more than Shs317 billion from Agape Sanctuary Ministries International to construct eight modern hospitals across the sub-region.
The health institution will construct hospitals in Arua, Pakwach Nebbi, Zombo, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani districts.
“We are not building this for today but for years to come with state-of-art equipment ranging from diagnostic imaging, Computerised tomography (CT) scan, X-ray, ultrasound, renal and kidney unit, intensive care unit, IVF Laboratory,” Dr Ronald Debo, the hospital director, said yesterday.
“When you are critically ill in this region, you are left to die or it is God to save you. But we want to reverse this trend,” he added.
Dr Debo said the hospitals are expected to employ more than 400 health workers.
He said the costs of surgery will be affordable, adding that they will be determined when the construction is complete.
“People who are referred to Mulago hospital usually die either in Karuma, Nakasongola because of the long distance.
We shall have tele medicines because there will be specialists in the hospital. The Orthopaedic services will help us save people from dying from accidents,” he said.
The hospital will also expand services to neighbouring DR Congo and South Sudan. The donors said the health facilities, expected to be constructed within two years, is part of their mission.
“We believe that people should not only go to church every Sunday, but we should also be responsible for the welfare of people who need to eat, need treatment.
We have a mission to construct five referral hospitals in this country. And this is the beginning,” Bishop Daniel Mwanga of Agape Sanctuary Ministries in Africa, said.
“There are many medical facilities across this country but they have limitations.
We need to have the modern equipment and human resource that will be able to treat patients although, we have been struggling with money to be cleared by the government,” he added.
The State Minister of Finance, General Duties, Mr Gabriel Ajedra, said the project will supplement government efforts in providing health services.
“We (Ministry of Finance) have been struggling to fund government hospitals and health centres, but this will now decongest the regional hospitals also,” Mr Ajedra, who is also the Vuura County MP, said.
Responding to the question about blocking the construction funds, Mr Ajedra said: “Management needs to have investment licence for this project because with minimum of $5m (Shs18b), we (Finance) directed that URA (Uganda Revenue Authority) waives taxes in certain areas.
This will further reduce cost of construction and hospital equipment that will be imported. I will follow this issue of blockage of the money personally this week since the business plan is already there.”
Mr Bernard Atiku, the MP for Ayivu County, promised support to Rhema because it has transformed many lives and passed the test of being a hospital.
“We will be together in this journey as local leaders. This is not only for the Ayivu people but for a greater north, South Sudan and Congo. One cannot underrate this kind of development,” he said.