On 2nd February 2023, Bwera Hospital-Kasese district was the venue for a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The construction funded by the Japanese government under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) was awarded to Baylor-Uganda in December 2022 and the site for the project was identified by the Hospital administration in collaboration with the district leadership.
The event was graced by the Kasese district leadership comprising the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) who was the Chief Guest, the Local Council V Chairman, the Chief Administrative Officer and the District Health Officer; the Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council leadership as well as the Senior Management team of Baylor-Uganda led by the Executive Director.
In her remarks to the audience, the Medical Superintendent Dr. Mary Munyagwa noted that the NICU project is coming with benefits for the overwhelmed health facility.
“The NICU will give us more space which reduces cross-infections from babies sharing beds as has been in the old facility. The NICU is also expected to be a referral center for the entire district including neighboring districts and sometimes clients from Congo. These are crucial in improving the quality of care and outcomes for new-born babies with complications after birth.”
Officiating at the ceremony, Lt. Joe Walusimbi commended the Japanese government for the intervention and appreciated Baylor-Uganda for their continued technical assistance to the hospital.
The Executive Director- Baylor-Uganda, Dr. Dithan Kiragga emphasized the need for the district to embrace ownership of the interventions from development partners and called upon the district to devise means of supporting the health system.
“The donors are looking for sustainability in all our interventions. I encourage the district leadership and the hospital as well to stick to the plan as agreed with the Japanese Embassy officials. They hold this project so dearly.”
Other district leaders who spoke at the event appreciated the support of the Japanese embassy and committed to ensuring the project is a success.
The contractor- Marriam and Brothers will start construction immediately and will be routinely supervised by the office of the District Engineer, the Town Council Engineer, and Baylor-Uganda while the Japanese embassy officials will visit the site to check the progress at least halfway through the project. The completion and commissioning of the NICU is expected in August 2023.
Media reports of the ground-breaking ceremony;