The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has since its start in April 2018 admitted 1,083 babies, out of which, unfortunately, 28 have succumbed to serious complications. But the rest have had their lives saved.
The upsurge in the delivery of premature babies at Nakaseke
General Hospital with the subsequent referrals has prompted the establishment
of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) worth 260 million shillings at the
Nakaseke General Hospital located in Nakaseke town in Nakaseke
district, which is the largest government health facility in Greater Luwero
region comprising Luwero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts was opened in
The facility has for over four decades, operated without a Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) leaving many lives of the prematurely born babies in
Any expectant mothers whose conditions could see them deliver neonates have had to be referred to Kiwoko Hospital, a privately owned
facility affiliated with the Church of Uganda (CoU) still in Nakaseke district.
Kiwoko hospital which had already established a Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 1999 courtesy of ADARA Newborn, a
Non-Governmental Organization advocating for care of newborns, is about
17kilometers from Nakaseke General Hospital.
In 2017, the number of babies at Nakaseke General Hospital in
need of services offered at a NICU seemingly started to rise from about 5 to
about 30 monthly.
This saw Kiwoko hospital where they were being referred feel the
The overwhelming referrals of neonates to Kiwoko
hospital prompted the administrators to take action.
As a result, in 2017, they (Kiwoko Hospital administrators)
engaged authorities at Nakaseke General Hospital after the latter set aside a
room for the unit.
Kiwoko hospital administrators also lobbied their funders, who
also established theirs, ADARA Newborn, based in Sydney, to extend the same support
to Nakaseke hospital to stem the referrals.
After securing funds from donors, the construction of the unit commenced
at Nakaseke General Hospital in 2018 and it also started admissions in April the
According to Daniel Kabugo, the country director of ADARA
Newborn (Uganda) they have sunk 260 million shillings in the unit.
He explains that they have equipped it with machines including
incubators, baby warmers, and monitors among others.
Currently the unit can handle 15 babies at a time, unlike before
when it could only handle two.
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The In-Charge of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Asaba
Teddy Rusoke, told URN in an interview that since the start of this unit in
April 2018, they have admitted 1,083 babies.
Out of these, she reveals that unfortunately, 28 have succumbed
to serious complications, but the rest, have had their lives saved.
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The official launch of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
at Nakaseke General Hospital was presided over by Dr. Diana Atwine, the
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health -MoH.
When asked at the sidelines of the event in an interview with
URN whether they as government are not challenged with this development by a private
organization, Dr. Atwine responded that they have a policy in the ministry to
establish NICUs at all health facilities starting with hospitals, then go down
to health center IVs, but the implementation is impeded by lack of funds.
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For his part, Dr. Bernard Okongo, the Medical Superintendent of
Nakaseke General Hospital said that the NICU is to among others save more lives
and lessen the burden of the huge transport costs always incurred during the
referring of the babies.