Kabwohe, Sheema | RedPepper Digital – A fundraising initiative, dubbed the Sheema Run 2021, has raised over UGX400M in efforts to set up a medical facility in Sheema.
The medical facility is set to be equipped with state-of-art facilities to treat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, hypertension, among others. Research indicates that of the 97,600 deaths in Uganda in 2016, NCDs accounted for over a third (1 in 3) of the deaths – a clear indicating of the apparent matter at hand.
Reportedly conceived by Dr. Silver Bahendeka, Dr Bahendeka is the coordinator of NCD Centre at Kabwohe, the initiative was shared with the Area MP Hon. Dickson Kateshumbwa (Sheema North) who turn partnered with the Sheema Development Association, Sheema Development Foundation and others to raise awareness and mobilisation for the cause.
The Sheema run 2021 graced by Ugandan Olympian and gold medalist, Stephen Kiprotich, featured a lot of activities such 10km, 5km and 1 Km races, auctions and a COVID-19 vaccination drive, which were fully embraced by the residents and visiting well-wishers.
While addressing the participants, Dr Bahendeka intimated that NCD Centre at Kabwohe(KHC) was serving scores of patients in and across the area
“The number of patients is increasing day by day; for instance; the health Centre’s OPD received more than 1,400 patients per month with the maternity section receiving more than 200 expectant months (each month),” Dr Bahendeka said.
He also revealed that the facility (KHC) was receiving UGX7.4million funding from MOH and later increased to UGX 11Million per quarter which remains insufficient for better service delivery.
“As we were mobilising and rallying people for the run, the Ministry of Health (National Medical Stores) offered us 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines and our people of Sheema have since received their jabs today (Saturday) as one of the activities of this fundraising drive,” said Hon. Kateshumbwa is commonly known as ‘Katesh’.
MP Kateshumbwa also revealed that the medical facility to be established will not only serve the people of Sheema but also those from Rwampara, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma and Mbarara (Kashari).
He also commended Prof. William Bazeyo, a Ugandan physician, public health specialist, academic, researcher, and academic administrator, with whom he partners to acquire an ultrasound machine for Kabwohe Health Centre.
“From now on, expectant mothers at Kabwohe Health centre will receive free ultrasound scans. I commend Prof William Bazeyo,” said Katesh while handing over the machine.
Reports indicate that the medical facility is set to support the existing Kabwohe Health Centre which has since been strained as a result of serving Sheema and the neighbouring districts.
On a lighter note, the Sheema Run 2021 was graced by the presence of Hon. Sarah Opendi who represented the Chief Guest, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among.
“I thank Hon. Kateshumbwa and other partners for organizing and mobilising for this great cause. The timing is perfect; Tomorrow (Sunday) November 14th is the #World Diabetes Day. A cause of nature is a rare calling where we see a clear example of citizens rallying others for development rather than sitting back to wait for the government,” said Hon. Opendi UGX40m Contribution raised through the auction of a bull.
In addition to Hon. Opendi, a total of 31 Members of Parliament from the western region and other parts of Uganda, graced the November 13 Sheema Run and made contributions of over UGX70M.
Most notable was Ngora Woman MP, Amongin Jacqueline, an Old Girl of Maryhill School (Mbarara) who welcomed the initiative and thanked the Sheema community for sending formidable and impact-driven leaders.
“I thank the people of Sheema for sending great leaders to Parliament who have a mindset to change their communities. Hon. Katesh is a key MP in parliament and although he is a first-time, his impact has been felt,” said Amongin who committed to contributing annually to the cause.
Speaking to our reporter, Mr Johnson Musinguzi, chairman – Sheema Development Association (SDA), one of the key mobilisers for the Sheema Run, re-echoed the importance of the initiative and the partnership with Daily Pepper.
“The Sheema run 2021 was a run for the right cause to establish a Centre to help people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that have become a big problem to our communities. Our participation/contribution as the Pepper family was to ensure humanity lives More years as this forms the base of our customers. Without people, you have no business in the World,” said Mr Musinguzi.
Mr Musinguzi also revealed that the Pepper Family shall offer all needed publicity for the population to appreciate the gravity of the problem and also help those that are sick to have enough information on how to manage the diseases.