KAMPALA — Stanbic Bank Uganda has made a donation of medical mama kits worth UGX30million to Kawempe Referral Hospital.
The donation is part of the bank’s sustained ‘Every Mother Counts’ campaign aimed at saving the lives of Ugandan women through improved maternal health.
While handing over the kits to the hospital administration, Anne Juuko, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank said, “the bank’s goal is to contribute to the new target of the Sustainable Development Goal three (SDG3) to accelerate the decline of maternal mortality by 2030.”
The campaign has been running for nearly two years. Kawempe Referral Hospital has been a focal point from the start due to the high patient numbers and mortality deaths.
Each month, Kawempe receives over 4000 pregnant women from across the country and delivers on average, 100 babies per day.
Juuko added that the campaign supported by friends of the bank was designed to complement government-led programmes implemented through the Ministry of Health aimed at improving healthcare service delivery and staff welfare.
“We have had the opportunity to work with a variety of people along the way, including ATC Uganda, Huawei, Vivo Energy, Liberty Life, UNOC, MTN, and many others; we encourage others to join us in this effort of getting our country a step closer to eradicating maternal mortality.”
According to a 2020 UNICEF report, the maternal mortality rate in Uganda remains relatively high–375 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Mwansa Mutati, Standard Bank’s Africa Head of Consumer banking praised the bank for launching the initiative, especially given the Covid-19 pandemic’s escalation of the situation.
“As a bank that believes in limitless possibilities, it is our responsibility to address and raise awareness about the social challenges in our communities so that we can work together to overcome them,” she said.
Over the years, the World Health Organization has indicated that, while motherhood has been considered a fulfilling natural experience, a high percentage of women face a number of challenges that cause them to suffer health-wise and, in some cases, financially, to die.
This is evident in Uganda which has one of the highest fertility rates in East Africa, estimated by World Bank to be at five children per woman.
Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, said that while there have been significant improvements in maternal healthcare, the number of maternal deaths remains disturbing, especially during this pandemic period when many people were financially affected.
She said, “government hospitals strive to provide the best maternal health services at very reasonable prices so that they are available to a diverse range of people in our community. Unfortunately, resources are not always adequate and support campaigns such as this one led by Stanbic Bank are highly commended, to complement government efforts.”
The mama kits include key items: plastic sheets, receiving sheets, a blanket, gauze wire, cotton wool, safety pins, plastic lined baby panties, baby towel, nappies, powder, plastic basin, jerry can, razor blades, and baby soap.
Atwine expressed gratitude to the bank for the sustained support and for raising awareness about the hospital’s situation.
“I urge everyone to spread the word and to work together to find quick solutions to ensure that all pregnant women have access to quality, affordable healthcare services. This way, we will be able to meet the target by 2030,” she said.