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20-Year-Old School Turns Into Hospital After COVID Lockdown Hits Hard

Former Tender care Nursery /URN Photo

Tender care nursery school in Kyaliwajala along Namugongo-Kireka road has turned into a health centre.  Established in 1998, the formerly high-end nursery school is now St. Thomas hospital.      

Simon Ogwale, who operates close to the former school, says that they were also surprised to see the changes that came towards the second lockdown.

“The owner of the former school is not the owner of the facility because she rented the premises to some other person who used it for a health centre. It is a very big facility, which even admits inpatients and when it stands the test of time, it will overtake most facilities in the area because it is very spacious because it used to be the owner’s home before turning it into a school,” he said.

 Juma Mutabaazi, another resident, said that the school became redundant and unproductive because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The school served parents from near and far because it even had a boarding section. I rarely see this with nursery schools. It had many buses, which could bring children from distant places on a daily basis,” he said.

He added: “The school was mostly for well to do people who have made some money for themselves because I also used to fetch a child from Mbalwa to that school and it was a wealthy family. The introduction of the health center has also affected me.”       

Doreen Kitandwa, a businesswoman in the area, says that prior to the change, the school was no longer doing well due to the many nursery schools in the area.

“Their fees structure was a little high. I think it was around Shs650,000, which created competition because now nursery schools are many. They decided to rent it out to a doctor from Mulago National Referral Hospital. Nevertheless, some reasons were COVID-19 related in that it could not stay redundant for a long time; it has not been operating for long since school were closed,” she said.

She explained that the school was so good that even after closure parents would look for their teachers to train their children.  

When approached, the administrator at the health facility said she did not know anything about the school.

“I am a hospital employee and as far as I know my bosses are tenants in this place and they will not be at peace talking to journalists,” she said.

The proprietor of the former school only identified as Babirye, a doctor at the Uganda Virus Research Institute only switched off her phone when our reporter explained why he had called her.   

-URN

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