Among the 300 beneficiaries is 2-year-old Raymond Lujja. Lujja battled with difficult urination for more than one year because he had a blocked urethra.
He explains that the hospital has so far received 1,000 children since it opened on April 15. Of these, 300 children have undergone surgeries. These surgeries were all successful, Menaldo emphasizes.
Children's Surgical Hospital in Entebbe municipality, the first of its kind in
Uganda, has started bearing fruits less than five months since it opened.
The 72 bed hospital is located a few metres from the Special Forces Command-SFC
Barracks in Lunyo village, Entebbe Municipality.
Built at a cost of 117 billion shillings,
the hospital was built under a public private partnership with the
ministry of health to serve as a regional referral for pediatric surgery.
Giacomo Menaldo, the Country Manager at Entebbe Surgical Children's Hospital, says
the hospital is managed and funded by International NGO Emergency, MOH and
The hospital has an annual budget of
60million US Dollars, close to 220 billion shillings, for its operations. MOH will fund 20 percent of this annual budget. MOH is also expected to fully take over management of the hospital after ten years.
Menaldo says that the hospital has so far received 1,000 children since it
opened on April 19. Of these, 300 children have undergone surgeries.
no mean achievement because Uganda’s mortality rate for children under five
is 49 for every 1,000 live births. Of which, 30 per cent of such deaths are due
to a lack of adequate surgery.
The hospital carries out two to five surgeries daily.
He however says the hospital
is still operating at half capacity because majority of the 275 Ugandan medics
are undergoing training with the 40 expatriates.
Once it is commissioned by President
Yoweri Museveni, the facility will conduct at least 8 to ten surgeries daily,
with over 300 staff.
Luisa Napolitano, the hospital's
Executive Director says most of the surgeries have been for patients with birth
defects such as anal rectal malformations and urological diseases.
Among the 300 beneficiaries is 2-year-old
Raymond Lujja. Lujja battled with difficult urination for more than one year
because he had a blocked urethra.
His mother, Esther Nalubwama, says she took Lujja to more than three health
facilities in vain and spent over one million Shillings on tests, scans and
Nalubwama says while her son has undergone
open surgery for free at the facility in Entebbe, she says she would have spent
over shillings 20 million for air travel and lodging costs minus costs for
surgery if Lujja had been flown for an operation in India.
Also in the same ward are Tickel Favour and Nelson Muweesi, aged 11 months and 8 years respectively.
Favour had an obstruction of the intestines.
Favour’s mother, Sofia Dimba, says he started having difficulty in passing
stool at four months.
//Cue in:” namuzala nga…
She lauds the hospital for carrying out the ileostomy reversal surgery for
free, adding that her son can now defecate without much difficulty.
BMC Health Services Research
released a report in June 2021 showing that some of the 39 patients who visited
Soroti Regional Referral Hospital between 2018 and 2019 spent close to 70 million
for intestine obstruction surgery. This included the cost for surgery, medicine
Dimba says she is a housewife who
hails from Kasese. “I would not be able
to pay such money for my son.”
Cue out:…banange bulungi.”//
The operation was carried out 19 days ago. Nurses say he will only be
discharged after the wound has healed.
Meanwhile, Favour’s immediate neighbor Muweesi was admitted because his kidney
got “dislocated” a month ago.
His mother, Specioza Nabbatta, says he started complaining of bouts of pain
after he was kicked in the abdomen while playing. He however started
experiencing attacks almost four times a day, up from once in three days.
Cue out:…per day.”//
At Entebbe Surgical Hospital, he was assessed for kidney contusion, which is an
injury to the kidney. Medics found out that the affected kidney (the one on the
right) moved out of its place and was in a lower position.
Nabatta, just like Nalubwama
and Dimba are happy that their children are beneficiaries of the facility at
"I was shocked that the hospital does not charge for the services. And
yet, I spent over 300,000 shillings in the other facilities as my son's
condition worsened," Nalubwama says.
Menaldo says Nalubwama is not
alone: "Many people come here and
think we charge for services. We even pinned posters saying services are free
at our reception but most people still have doubts."
"But everything here is free and this is a hospital that will in the long
run prove that it is possible to offer free quality health care services in
Uganda," Menaldo adds.
Napolitano however says the hospital
is restricted to only operating on patients below 18 years who have
gastrointestinal diseases, which are diseases of organs from the mouth to the
anus. The hospital does not handle cancers and diseases of organs such eyes,
nose, throat, brain and heart.
//Cue in:”We don’t do…
Cue out:…not for now.”//
Napolitano says the patients are also handled according to the availability of
//Cue in:”So every disease….
Cue out:…a plastic surgeon.”//
However, Menaldo says the hospital
can expand its operations if MOH reviews the current criteria.