Struggling With Identity! Western Donors Shun Friendship Hospital Naguru Over Inclusion Of China In Its Name

Struggling With Identity! Western Donors Shun Friendship Hospital Naguru Over Inclusion Of China In Its Name

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The Director of China-Uganda Friendship Hospital Naguru, Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo has expressed concern over the inclusion of ‘China’ in the hospital’s name noting that this association has hindered the facility from getting support from Western donors.

Dr Tugaineyo further revealed that despite the fact that China is associated to hospital’s name, the assistance provided by the Chinese mainly consists of acupuncture needles and gloves.

While appearing before Parliament’s Health Committee to defend the 2024/25 budget for the hospital as outlined in the Budget Framework Paper, Dr. Tugaineyo highlighted the challenges stemming from the hospital’s nomenclature. He emphasized that major financial partners in the US and Europe are reluctant to associate their funds with anything related to China.

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“The name China-Uganda Friendship Hospital has alienated us from implementing partners, you know, the people who wouldn’t want to put their money where that name and yet they are the main funders and implementing partners and yet the Government feels the Chinese are helping us, and yet they don’t. What they bring us in kind usually contain acupuncture needles, gloves, things like that,” Tugaineyo told the committee.

Dr. Tugaineyo also disclosed that Naguru Hospital is currently grappling with financial challenges including underfunding for patient meals, fuel for staff vehicles, and payment of water, electricity bills among other expenses.

“Even now, as a director, I fuel my own vehicle because the money for the fuel gets finished, and I have to go to work. We don’t have a budget for the oxygen plan, patients’ meals, cleaning services, or fees for the hospital board. I hope that the supplementary that was given to us to offset some of the arrears will come to pass, I hope it won’t come at the end of the financial year because we had arrears of about Shs1.5Bn for water, we have arrears of electricity of more than UGX 100 million. We have arrears for cleaning services, but in this budget, we will still incur the same arrears,” he revealed.

In the 2024/25 Budget Framework Paper, Naguru Hospital has been allocated UGX 22.719 billion, with UGX 9.584 billion earmarked for wages, UGX 10.622 billion for non-wage expenditures, and UGX 2.513 billion for development.

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Among the pressing unfunded priorities faced by Naguru Hospital is the need for an extra UGX 1 billion to purchase medicines and other medical supplies, including laboratory reagents, gloves, and medical sundries.

Officials also raised concerns about overcrowding within the health facility, attributing it to a poorly functioning referral system. This challenge is further worsened by the high costs associated with maintaining the building.

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