Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary of Uganda's Ministry of Health led a team from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) and the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders in an assessment of health facilities along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) corridor.
“The objective of this visit is to evaluate the readiness of the existing health facilities in the 10 districts along the EACOP route to provide the required health services given the expected influx of people during the construction phase; identify the gaps; and plan strategic interventions in order to address them,” Atwine said.
The team visited health facilities in Gomba, Ssembabule, Lwengo, Rakai, and Kyotera districts. The health facilities in Nwoya, Buliisa, Kikuube, Hoima, Kakumiro, and Mubende districts were previously assessed in May 2019.
Atwine pledged to ensure that health facilities are improved to meet the required standards to benefit all the relevant stakeholders and most especially the surrounding communities.
The health units will provide health services to the expected influx of people who will be working, both directly and indirectly, on the pipeline.
Additionally, they will provide improved services to the surrounding communities during and after the construction phase of the pipeline.
“The Petroleum Authority of Uganda is coordinating the enhancement of linkages between the oil and gas sector and other key sectors of the economy to facilitate broad-based, inclusive economic growth and development.
“Some of the key sectors identified included agriculture, construction and manufacturing, transport, tourism, land-use planning, and health, among others,” said Joseph Kobusheshe, director of environment, health, safety, and security management at PAU.
Most of the health facilities will be enhanced with standby ambulances, emergency units, refrigerators for blood storage as well as remodelling and refurbishment of some facilities.
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