KAMPALA, Uganda,- The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, signed a new development loan agreement worth USD $30 million with the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Matia Kasaija, to fund the construction and equipping of the Uganda Heart Institute Project, through SFD.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, and official representatives from both parties.
The Uganda Heart Institute Project will be funded through a collaboration of entities with a shared vision of improving the health and well-being of people around the world. The SFD’s contribution to this project will help to support the healthcare sector in Uganda, and assist the government to achieve their National Development Plan III, which aims to enhance productivity and social wellbeing among the population.
The loan agreement aims to support the construction and equipping of the state-of-the-art Uganda Heart Institute, through establishing two fully equipped emergency admittance and care facilities, as well as intensive care and emergency services, covering catheterization procedure rooms, x-rays and CT scans, among others. Moreover, the institute will host a wide range of cardiovascular surgical interventions, five fully fledged clinical and research laboratories, and 222 beds, out of which 20 beds will be for the Critical Care unit.
The Uganda Heart Institute Project is expected to decrease the number of Ugandans leaving the country to receive cardiovascular treatment, and will ensure that more people rely on the institute for their cardiovascular treatments. The project is expected to benefit over 62,000 people.
In addition to providing new equipment and facilities, the Uganda Heart Institute Project will play a vital role in addressing cardiovascular disease management by training workers to effectively deal with heart problems, potentially decreasing mortality rates and heart disease in the region. The project will also raise awareness of heart diseases among the public, helping to prevent future heart diseases and improving the lives of many people.
Additionally, the project will stimulate the growth of the local economy by helping to create direct and indirect job opportunities within the healthcare sector. This project aligns closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3, Good Health, and Well-being.
On this occasion, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Matia Kasaija, said: “The Saudi Fund for Development is one of the most reliable Arab Development Partners that has supported Uganda’s Economic Development since 1976 in the Agriculture, Livestock, Education(BTVET), and Energy sectors among others.”
The Minister of Health of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, stated in her address: “Today marks the start a transformative journey for the Uganda Heart Institute. This development loan demonstrates the SFD’s commitment to improving the lives of Ugandan citizens. It is a significant contribution to the health of our people and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the healthcare landscape of the country. The new state-of-the-art facilities and services will position the Uganda Heart Institute as a global center of excellence in cardiovascular services.”
On his part, the CEO of SFD, H.E Sultan Al-Marshad, said: “The SFD is committed to supporting sustainable development in Africa, which includes funding projects in key sectors such as healthcare. This loan agreement will play a major role in supporting Uganda’s healthcare sector and helping to prevent and treat heart disease, which is a major public health threat. We are proud to be part of this important initiative, which will contribute towards bettering the lives of many.”
Over the past four decades, the SFD has financed seven development projects in Uganda, worth $81 million USD. These projects have been in the areas of energy, health, agriculture, and education. SFD believes that all countries deserve the opportunity to achieve their sustainable development goals.
Since its inception in 1974, SFD has helped to fund more than 400 development projects and programs in various sectors worth $10.7 billion USD, across 46 countries in Africa. This accounts for over 57% of the SFD’s total funding in developing countries around the world.
This latest development reaffirms the importance of international cooperation and solidarity to achieve sustainable development goals and foster economic and social growth around the world.