Residents of Kawempe North have expressed dismay at the closure of Kawempe North Hospital established by jailed Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya.
After a year and close to 6 months, the health centre started experiencing challenges following the arrest and subsequent jailing of its founder Muhammad Ssegirinya on accusations including terrorism, attempted murder, and murder.
As a result of lack of funding, the health centre has been dysfunctional since December 23, 2022 and on Wednesday this week, management decided to close shop and donate the equipment and medicines in the facility to other health centres in the constituency.
According to Alex Luwemba, a previous adminstrator of the now defunct Kawempe North hospital, the facility has been going through severe financial hardships, under which it couldn’t survive.
“The centre required a monthly budget of more than Shs 5 million, which we could not raise. Though predominantly the health centre has been providing free services, we introduced payment of a nominal fee, reduced staff to 10 from 30, but still failed to raise the money,” he said.
He also added that the facility had accumulated up to Shs 10 million in rent arrears even though they had agreed with the landlord on a payment plan, area politicians who are against the project bad-mouthed the project and the landlord changed his mind.
For the locals, Kawempe North hospital has been a source of customers for their businesses to many including food vendors like Justine Namatovu whose biggest clientele had been the patients at the health centre.