The Japanese government, through its agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has announced that it will refurbish and upgrade Gulu, Lira and Arua regional referral hospitals.
Mr Takayuki Uchiyama, an official at JICA, made the revelation on Friday during the launch of the rehabilitation of the 6km Gulu Municipal council roads in Gulu Town, which are also funded by JICA.
Mr Uchiyama said the referral hospitals will be upgraded under the Project for the Improvement of Regional Referral Hospitals in Northern Uganda at a cost of Shs66 billion.
According to Mr Uchiyama, JICA engineers are currently working on the architectural groundwork of the project in consultation with Gulu district local government adding that the project will be rolled out soon.
Under the project, the hospital facilities such as the Theatre, Casualty and Maternity Ward measuring approximately 2,500 square meters will be upgraded.
“Health is one of the Japanese priorities into developing the country. It’s with such a background that we are committed in upgrading the health facilities in the region,” he said.
The Gulu District Chairperson, Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, welcomed the move, saying it will enormously help the people of Northern Uganda in accessing medical services from the government facility.
Annually, according to statistics from health officials, the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital registers 256,000 outpatients.
Although General Hospitals, Regional and National Referral Hospitals have continued to make major contributions to essential clinical care in Uganda, numerous reports (including those of the MoH) are awash with the stark reality of lack of drugs, absence of the often inadequate health workers, delays in accessing health care services even at referral hospitals, and neglect of patients who manage to access the health care facilities, resulting into avoidable deaths among other problems.