First, it was the Lagos state government that turned a sports facility into a coronavirus isolation centre. And now, the Ugandan government seems to have picked a lesson as it plans to convert the Nelson Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, in Wakiso district into a health care facility.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine on Wednesday told Parliament’s Budget Committee that should the facilities at Mulago National Referral Hospital get overwhelmed; the stadium at Namboole will turn into a treatment centre for COVID-19 patients.
Atwiine appeared before the committee that is scrutinizing a supplementary budget request of Shs 284 billion that has since shot up to Shs 304 billion to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus.
Responding to concerns from MPs regarding the Ministry’s preparedness to handle an upsurge in the infection rates, Atwiine said, the Ministry already has a plan to relocate the services at Entebbe Grade B hospital and Mulago hospital, the two centres that are currently handling COVID-19 related cases.
“In case Mulago has a spillover, and we fill Mulago, we are going to use Namboole because we have a mobile hospital that we can put in Namboole and operationalize it,” Atwiine said.
Several countries like the United States of America, Italy, China and Spain among others that have been hardly hit by the coronavirus are currently suffering from lack of hospital space, ventilators and protective gear.
Coronavirus cases worldwide have now soared to 883,000 with up to 43,500 deaths. 185, 000 people have recovered so far.