The management of Mulago National Referral Hospital has said it needs about Shs10 billion to repair and maintain machines whose non-functionality has affected care at the facility.

This was revealed yesterday by Mr David Nuwamanya, the hospital principal administrator, two weeks after this newspaper published a story about “dead” machines at the facility. 

Mr Nuwamanya said they are expediting processes to restore the functionality of the machines and among the milestones reached is the completion of renovation works in the room that houses the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. 

The Shs5 billion MRI machine for disease detection was installed in 2018 but has not been functional because of incomplete renovation works. 

More than 40 machines, which are essential for disease diagnosis and treatment, at the facility are non-functional, according to a government report and sources.

The non-functional machines include MRI, X-ray machine, CT scan, ventilators and electronic suction machines for supporting breathing, blood pressure machines, and patient monitors.

The acting executive director of Mulago, Dr Rosemary Byanyima had, in the story published by this publication, blamed the non-functionality on the incomplete renovation works at the facility and limited funds for maintaining the equipment.

Yesterday, Mr Nuwamanya said: “We need Shs10.3 billion for maintaining the machines but the government is indicating that they have Shs6 billion. There is a possibility that they will provide the amount we need.” 

He was speaking at a press conference held at the facility ahead of next week’s medical camp. The camp, which will run from Monday to Tuesday, seeks to provide free health screening and treatment to more than 2000 adults and children. 

Mr Nuwamanya also revealed yesterday that Roko, the construction company which the government blamed for delaying the renovation works at the facility, has now resumed work. He said the company is expected to complete the work in 9 months.

The administrator also said that civil works in the room where the MRI machine is housed, has been completed. 

Patients at the facility, who need to be scanned using the MRI machine, are always sent to private facilities which charge them around Shs700,000 per scan.

Mr Nuwamanya said: “For the MRI machine, it is not yet working. We are revamping it. As we explained before, the MRI machine was installed at a time when the civil works had not been completed.”

He added: “Where the MRI machine is installed, we have now completed the civil works and we are in talks with the manufacturer of the machine to revamp it and very soon the machines will be working to serve the population.”

Dr John Sekabira, the acting deputy director of the hospital, said at the same event that the facility has continued to provide care to patients amid challenges such as overcrowding and limited funding.

Speaking about the medical camp, Dr Sekabira said they have lined up local health specialists to handle Ugandans who will turn in for the next week’s event. He said people who are diagnosed with different diseases will start treatment. 

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