In an effort to improve maternity health service at Mbaraara Health Center; Hoima District, Uganda Telecom in partnership with the Rotaract Club, on Saturday donated medical equipment worth 21 Million shillings.
The equipment includes; delivery beds, delivery sets, ward screens, ambulance bags, weighing scales, sterilizers, chairs, plastic-usable, hospital benches, mattresses, blood pressure aneroid adult and child cuff, theater boots, mosquito nets, to mention but a few.
The health center, which is the leading facility in Kihomboza village, lacks basic necessities for a maternity ward and a health center in general; as a result, expectant mothers are referred to Hoima Referral Hospital which is 30km away from the health center, for maternity care. This has resulted into increased mortality rate in the district since pregnant mothers opt to give birth in the confines of their home.
At the handover ceremony, the company also launched Uganda Telecom U-can Initiative, its newly created corporate social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella body, through which it will give back to different communities in Uganda.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Naidu Shailendra, Uganda Telecom’s Chief Commercial Officer said, “Through this initiative, we will equip the health center and the maternity ward with the relevant medical equipment and tools to make it a better place for mothers to give birth and for children to be born. This investment is part of Uganda Telecom’s commitment to improving lives within the communities we operate. As a proudly Ugandan Brand, Uganda Telecom is committed to giving back to the community through a number of initiatives and projects.”
“Promoting good health in our communities is one of Uganda Telecom U-Can Initiative’s core areas of focus because healthy lives lead to a healthy economy. It is our hope that our support will go a long way in saving many newborns in Hoima District and Uganda at large,” Mr Shailendra said.
According to the 2013 State of the World Mothers’ Report, in Uganda, 6,000 mothers die every year during pregnancy and child birth making the country one of the 50 worst places to be born in the world. The findings further reveal that up to 15,100 babies die on the first day of birth in Uganda compared to 3,400 in Rwanda – the best place to be born in East Africa. In addition, up to 42,700 babies die in their first month of birth in Uganda compared to 9,500 in Rwanda.
“At Uganda Telecom, we are excited to partner with the Rotaract Club in saving the lives of more mothers in the country. We are focused on promoting access to effective and lasting health solutions in Uganda,” he added.
“Evidence consistently shows that cost-effective services to improve women’s overall health and nutrition, to make childbirth safer, and to help mothers care for themselves and their babies will save a significant number of mothers’ and new-born lives,” said Mr. Arthur Ssewava, the President Rotaract Club.
“We are delighted that Uganda Telecom has the health of Ugandans at heart and has been very supportive towards this project. We are optimistic that the high quality equipment Uganda Telecom has offered to Mbaraara Health Center today will go a long way in improving maternal service and health care in Hoima,” he added.