The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has called for increased funding to the Police Traffic Department’s ‘Fika Salama’ campaign intended to improve road safety in Uganda.
The campaign was introduced in August 2016, on the Kampala – Masaka Highway and later rolled out to other highways in the country.
Kadaga said that ‘Fika Salama’ or Reach Safely, which was introduced to reduce accidents on Uganda’s highways seems to be weakening.
“I appeal to road users to be more responsible. The Police campaign of Fika Salama led to an improvement in road use, but now accidents are going up again. We need to be more disciplined in how we behave on the road,” she said.
Kadaga was the Chief Runner at the Charity Run held to raise funds for the construction of an Accident and Emergency Unit at Nkozi Hospital, on 17th June 2017.
The Run was flagged off at the Equator ending at the Hospital located 83 km along the Kampala – Masaka Highway in Mpigi district.
Construction of the emergency and accident unit is estimated to cost UShs 2.8 billion, with equipment worth UShs 1.6 billion.
The unit is expected to include a theatre, a high dependency unity, a resuscitation unit, a Police unit, a standby ambulance, a laboratory and pharmacy and a section to handle pregnant women for antenatal and gynecological conditions.
Parliament of Uganda contributed UShs 10 million; while the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Winnie Kiiza contributed UShs 2 million.
A total of UShs 50 million was raised at the end of the day’s event held at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.
Kadaga appealed to legislators to find means of raising funds for the health sector during the next budgeting cycle.
She regretted that funds allocated to private not for profit hospitals was declining and promised that the trend would be reversed.
“This highway is used by travellers in Uganda and those going or coming from the neighbouring countries of DR Congo and Rwanda. It’s important that we have a functional Accident and Emergency Unit at Nkozi hospital,” Kadaga said.
The Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Criscent Tumuhaise, said that following the completion of works on the Kampala – Masaka highway, the number of accident victims received at the hospital had increased to an average of 15 – 20 per week.
“In some instances, we receive over 40 victims at ago after a major accident; some of whom are critically injured. Currently the hospital lacks major equipment and space to handle large volumes of critically ill patients,” said Dr. Tumuhaise.
Nkozi Hospital is a private not for profit hospital serving a catchment area spanning over the five districts of Kalungu, Butambala, Gomba, Sembabule and Mpigi.
In a related event, the Speaker joined students, parents and teachers of St. Mary’s College Kisubi and Gayaza High School in a Health Run to raise funds meant to building a play home for children suffering from Cancer at the Mulago Cancer Institute.
Kadaga urged students to spread the word about cancer to their peers in schools.
“I would like to thank the Human Alliance Cancer Awareness Club of SMACK and the 3Cs Club of Gayaza High School for thinking about the young children with cancer and fundraising for them a play house. Parliament pledges to support you in this very noble cause,” Kadaga said.
The Run was held at St. Mary’s College Kisubi on Saturday 17th June, 2017.