The Ministry of Health has given BMK Uganda Ltd a week to complete
renovation works at Entebbe National Isolation Centre.
The firm was contracted to complete the works by April this year.
However, due to delays in approving plans for remodelling the Tuberculosis
ward, the completion date was pushed to a month.
Eng. George Otim, the commissioner of health infrastructure at the
health ministry says that the contractor was supposed to hand
over the site on June 11.
However, the contractor has not yet completed plumbing and
electrical works in some of the buildings and the former TB ward.
Otim says the contractor must now hand over the site next week due
to space constraints for COVID-19 patients.
The renovation works commenced in October 2019. They however
stalled for three months last year after the ministry cancelled the contract of
Synergy Enterprises Ltd over incompetence and lack of capacity to finance works.
However, work resumed after the World Bank and the Solicitor
General approved the award of a contract to BMK Uganda Ltd for completion of
Eng. Otim says BMK Uganda Ltd has also shown that it could not
complete the project within three months as agreed initially.
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The centre was constructed in 2009 for infectious disease control
such as SARS and Ebola.
However, the World Bank and the health ministry decided to
renovate the centre to ensure patients, suspects and medics have separate
access points as a way of curbing the spread of infectious diseases.
Once completed, the centre will have space for the intensive care
unit, separate rooms for suspects and patients, laboratories and also separate
entry and exit points for the general public and health workers.
The project also involves renovating the tuberculosis ward to
provide housing units for health workers, a restaurant and stores.
When URN Reporter visited the site, there were over 30 workers on
the site. Some of these were fixing lights, others painting walls of the ICU
and some fixing taps in the laboratory and former TB ward.
Frank Lutalo, one of the engineers at the site says that 97 percent
of the works have been done.
He is optimistic that all pending works will be completed by next
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Eng. Otim says the ministry will start fixing equipment in the
laboratory, ICU beds and beds in the wards so that COVID-19 patients can be
admitted by end of the week.
Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital is relying on the re-opening of
the isolation centre for additional space for COVID-19 patients.