Encroachers takeover Naguru site where Gov’t plans to build a facility to offer Heart transplant services

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The Uganda Heart Institute (UHI) is seeking a loan of 70 million dollars to construct a Cardiac center in Uganda, which will pave way for treatment of cardiac disorders including conducting heart transplants locally.

However, the land in Naguru Kampala, has been takeover by encroachers -according to UHI Executive Director Dr. Omagino John.

Dr Omagino made this revelation during an interaction with the parliamentary Committee on Health chaired by Hon Dr. Charles Ayume while on a field visit in Nagulu, to inspect the site where a state of the art cardiac facility will be constructed.

UHI was allocated 10 acres of land at the upscale Naguru-Nakawa estate to establish a centre of cardiac excellence. The institute is currently located in Mulago hospital, where it occupies a single block.

Out of the 10 acres, Dr Omagino said, the UHI is in possession of only 7.5 acres while others have been encroached by Tendo Investments, KCCA division offices and Lukyamuzi Investments among others.

He said, encroachment into the Uganda Heart institute land happened during the COVID-19 lockdown and the encrochers erected a perimeter fence on the land.

“They simply came during lockdown and put up a wall fence and a container, saying they will not leave until when their interests are met” Omagino said.

During an interface with lawmakers on Wednesday, 13 July 2022 to justify the loan request, Dr Omagino revealed that cardiovascular deaths are on the increase, hence the need for improved super specialized services in the country.

He added that out of the 16,000 children with heart-related diseases yearly, 400 stay on a waiting list, a challenge he said can be addressed if the new facility is developed.

He noted that Uganda should be able to start heart transplant in may be Ten (10) years after this facility is established.

The facility will also treat cardiovascular accidents, heart attack, heart block, heart failure, cardiac arrest, holes in the heart, dying parts of the heart and growth in the heart.

According to Omagino, the institute at Mulago Hospital has capacity to handle only 80 open heart surgeries yearly, but it is projected that with the new establishment, 500 open heart surgeries will be handled.

“We are going to invite them (encroachers) to parliament and listen to their side of the story. We cannot allow this to happen” Dr Ayume said.

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