TotalEnergies EP Uganda a company contracted by the government to produce Uganda’s oil and gas has enhanced accessibility to improved health services with a donation of an Out-Patient Department (OPD) at Avogera Health Centre III in Ngwedo Sub-County, Buliisa district.
The reconstructed facility was handed over to the district officials on Tuesday.
The facility which has been reconstructed and equipped as part of the Company’s livelihood restoration activities under the Tilenga Project Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) is aimed at contributing towards the improvement of health care service delivery within the project host communities, the oil firm said in a media statement.
The refurbished HC III outpatient facility will provide health care services to residents in the Avogera catchment which are over 2,000 households.
The refurbished facilities consist of an Outpatient Unit, a block with one treatment room, an examination room, two washrooms, a counselling room, reception area, laboratory, pharmacy, and store, medical store and waiting area.
This facility has been fitted with solar energy and requisite plumbing systems. “The Company utilized the requisite drawings as provided by the Ministry of Health to build this outpatient unit as well as the auxiliary facilities,” the statement added.
The construction started in 2020 and got finished last year by Pearl Engineering Uganda Limited, a local firm.
The newly refurbished facility has also been equipped with an Incinerator to burn waste at the facility, a medical waste pit to handle all forms of medical waste generated by the health facility.
The project included fencing of the Health Centre with a 1.5km long chain link around the Centre with two access points created (Main and pedestrians’ gates), a water facility with a 5,000-litre ground tank, 1,000 litre stand tank and pump which will supplement the borehole at the facility.
A Stance Ventilated Improved Pit-latrine (VIP) has also been provided. Marion Muyobo, Head of Social Affairs TotalEnergies EP Uganda, revealed that the OPD was reconstructed in conjunction with Buliisa district local government as part of a response to a critical need for the community.
“During the planning phase of the Tilenga RAP, we discovered that the Avogera Health Centre needed critical infrastructure to support its classification as HC III. Our decision to invest in the reconstruction of the OPD and auxiliary facilities was also guided by the fact that the nearest health centers were almost 4-6km away and lacked facilities required to serve the communities of Kasenyi, Kirama, Kisomere, Uduk II, Kibambura, Kilyango, Avogera villages,” she said.
Muyobo said they also equipped the facility with more machinery including an ultrasound machine, oxygen masks and kits, assortment of drugs, beds, chairs and tables and theatre kits among others.
The items, she said, will enable doctors give the patients’ high quality attention supported by safe and modern equipment thereby increasing their chances of survival and improving their quality of life.”
As part of the sustainability strategy, the Buliisa district local government will continue to provide support to the facility including staffing and provision of medical supplies following the handover and commissioning.
The local government will also undertake general repairs of the OPD, replacement of worn-out facilities and repainting of the facilities among others going forward.
Norah Bigirwa Nyandwoha, the Buliisa district Woman Member of Parliament commended the Company for the initiative saying it will contribute significantly towards the improvement of Health Care Service delivery not only in Ngwedo sub-County but in Buliisa District in general.
However, Nyendwoha appealed to the ministry of health to do more in improving health service delivery in the oil-rich area which would cater for the needs of the people flocking the area to search for opportunities in the oil industry.
“We must see lower health units elevated to health Centre fours’ and general hospitals to enable them get increased funding, drug allocations, staffing and structures- theaters to handle emergencies and reduce referrals,” she said.