HOPE AS ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT LAUNCHES MATERNAL & CHILD PROGRAM AT KAWEMPE HOSPITAL
Video: MoH MESSAGE ON CHILDREN & MATERNAL HEALTH
By Joel Mugabi
Uganda continues to make remarkable progress in improving the health of women and children. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) for women aged 15-49 has slightly improved from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016, according to UBOS’s latest data.
The Covid19 pandemic and responses to manage it have not only overstretched the existing healthcare system of Uganda, but they have also negatively impacted maternal, child and neonatal health with the biggest and longest lasting impact seen in increase in teen pregnancies, complications of pregnancy, stillbirths and low birth weight infants likely due to delayed care-seeking behavior.
To support maternal child health care, Rotary International District 9213, an arm in the international service organization that is non-political and nonreligious, launched the Maternal and Child Program at the Kawempe Referral Hospital yesterday.
The program will focus on five key areas: empowering adolescent girls and young women, supporting Antenatal Care (ANC), delivering and post-partum women and children under age five, enhancing capacity and motivation of MCH workers, enhancing advocacy through awareness creation for communities and infrastructure development. The launched maternal and child program is also hinged on the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) which call for a major reduction in maternal, neonatal, and child mortality and universal access to sexual and reproductive health services by 2030. It is believed the implementation of this signature MCH program dubbed “Saving mothers and children together” by Rotary International’s District 9213 reinforces the attainment of this global maternal and child health goal at local levels.
The launch was presided over by Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta together with the coordinator of the program in Uganda, past president of the Rotary Club of Bukoto Mercy Kainobwisho. Others in attendance at the launch of the program included Kawempe Referral Hospital Executive Director Dr Nehemiah Katusiime, and Stanbic Bank Uganda CEO Anne Juuko.
Speaking at the launch, the Rotary International President said any impactful Maternal and Child Health Program calls not only for strategic partnership with a multitude of stakeholders but also collaborative efforts and interventions to support the Government of Uganda and private sector endeavors in saving mothers and children, hence the mantra of “Saving mothers and children together.”
“I am privileged to be here as Rotary International District 9213 starts the implementation of its multi-year signature Maternal and Child program in the vulnerable communities of Uganda whose situation has been exacerbated by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mehta. “I want to thank all partners and stakeholders who agreed to become part of this life-saving initiative.”
For her part, Kainobwoisho, the coordinator of the Maternal and Child Program said she was glad Rotary International had placed their efforts in ensuring that the lives of mothers, their health and their children are saved.
“The successful implementation of the program being launched today is anticipated to increase planned pregnancies and respectful antenatal attendance; reduce maternal and newborn mortality and severe morbidity, reduce perinatal mortality and child mortality while ensuring safe deliveries for many mothers who choose Kawempe Hospital,” noted Kainobwisho. “I want to thank Rotary District 9213, our partners, government of Uganda for supporting us make this contribution.”(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).