KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has promised to pressure government to establish 13 regional centres to treat heart diseases and save Ugandans the trouble of seeking treatment abroad.
Speaking at World Heart Day celebrations in Jinja on Friday, Ms Kadaga said it is high time government started paying attention to fighting the disease.
“I will support your campaign to construct 13 such facilities that will save heart patients from going to India and other countries for operations,” she said.
Ms Kadaga further tasked Resident District Commissioners and other leaders to activate Physical Education programmed in schools for children’s health issues to be addressed.
“I want to propose the introduction of health clubs in schools like the way government did for patriotism clubs where children will learn health issues like to help one another and market our facilities,” she said.
She added that since the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) became autonomous, they have operated 2,000 heart patients and as Parliament, she will continue supporting the health sector.
The UHI executive director, Dr John Omagino, said that they want develop Uganda into a medical tourism centre, fully equipped with facilities and capacities to treat patients within and across the borders.
The Minister of health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said cardiovascular diseases, which include heart diseases and stroke, are responsible for 17.3 million premature deaths and is expected to raise to 23 million by 2030.
The Vice Chairperson Jinja District Local Government, Ms Florence Asio, said as a district, they have given UHI land to construct a heart center.
Construction of Kagoma hospital, Kagoma County in Jinja District has reportedly taken long, prompting the Chairperson social service committee at the district, Mr. Junior Mbetyo, to propose that a committee of inquiry be put in place to investigate work at the Hospital.
“The problem is that the central government has failed to allocate a budget to complete the construction of this hospital; I have visited this place twice,” he said.