Financing agreements have been completed for the construction of a US$70 million cardiac hospital in the Kampala district of Uganda.

“Construction works will commence upon procurement of a contractor,” Uganda’s Health Committee chairperson Charles Ayume said during budget committee discussions for the Health Ministry on 17 January.

Parliament approved a request by the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) for a US$70 million loan to build and equip the hospital in July 2022.  

UHI has been allocated 10 acres of land at the Naguru-Nakawa estate to establish the cardiac center, which is planned to handle 500 open-heart surgeries a year. 

The first phase of the construction will target 250 beds, which will be expanded to 500 in five to seven years and subsequently to 1,000. 

The civil works are expected to cost US$46 million and include the construction of three blocks, namely:

  • A clinical block with a ground+9 floors layout;
  • A research and laboratories block with a ground+9 floors layout;
  • A staff and maintenance block with a ground+8 floor layout.

The cardiac center will feature two fully equipped emergency admittance and care facilities, intensive care and emergency units with catheterization procedure rooms, x-rays, and CT scans, two operating theatres, and five clinical and research laboratories.

The feasibility study for the project was completed in 2018.

In September 2023, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) signed a US$30 million loan agreement to support the construction and equipping of the UHI facility. 

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) are providing loans of US$20 million each, while the government of Uganda will contribute US$3 million to the project.

The Ugandan government is also looking to build four regional cardiac centers. During the 17 January discussions, MPs welcomed the recommendation to provide additional funding in the health ministry budget to establish the centers.

The Health Committee brought forward a recommendation for additional funding worth Ugandan shilling 51 billion (US$13.4 million) to be provided in a phased manner to set up centers in Jinja, Mbarara, Masaka, and Gulu.

Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa said there is a need for regional balance when establishing the heart centers.

“You have mentioned areas like Jinja and Mbarara, but we must also make a provision for areas like Mbale, Soroti, Arua, Hoima, and Fort Portal among others. Such areas are very far and need the services there,” the MP said.



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