KAMPALA — As part of their Safe Motherhood Initiative, Airtel Uganda has today handed over a brand new ultrasound scan to Bukwo District.
The donated mobile ultrasound-scan is portable and power efficient making it possible for health workers to access patients wherever they are thus reducing risk and the transport burden on patients.
According to the Airtel Uganda Human Resource Director Mrs. Flavia Ntambi, maternal health is one of the key points of focus under the health pillar of the Airtel Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
“We are happy to contribute to the safe delivery statistics in Bukwo District and Uganda in general by handing over this mobile ultrasound scan today. This donation underscores Airtel’s commitment to the well-being of Ugandans. We remain committed to the improvement of the lives of Ugandans across the country not only through providing seamless telecommunications solutions but also through initiatives such as this,” she said.
To ensure sustainable usage of the equipment, the Bukwo District health officials went through an intensive training on how to use the scan and as well extend accurate information to the expectant mothers facilitated by experts from M-Scan Uganda and the head of Radiology at Mount Elgon Hospital in Mbale Dr. Elijah Wakamuke.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine thanked Airtel Uganda for the machine and noted that Airtel Uganda has always partnered with the Government of Uganda in the areas of health through their various health camps and other initiatives.
“We are happy to have a partner in Airtel Uganda who has committed themselves to ensuring proper health care provision across Uganda through their different initiatives. I call upon the Bukwo District health officials to use their training and this equipment to selflessly extend maternity health services to the people. Together, we can reduce complications associated to child birth,” she noted.
Since 2014, Airtel Uganda has conducted free medical health outreaches with Safe motherhood as part of its outreaches in areas such as Kamuli, Lamwo, Masindi, Kamuganguzi, Kisoro, Kabale and Kotido among others.
In Uganda today, the inadequate utilization of antenatal care greatly contributes to the avoidable rates of maternal and neonatal mortality seeing that most expectant mothers start antenatal care late at about 5.5 months into the pregnancy with most mothers in the rural areas not even attending the 4th visit.
According to the Annual Health Sector Performance report FY2018/2019, antenatal care (ANC) coverage for the fourth visit though it increased by 11% to 42% (821,104/1,941,155) in 2018/19 from 38% in FY 2017/2018 it was still below the Health Sector Development Plan (HSDP) target of 45% for FY 2018/219. The objective of the Airtel Safe Motherhood program is to mobilize expectant mothers to access antenatal care (ANC) services at the health centers in their districts.
Using the scan, health workers are able to monitor pregnancies for complications and the pregnant woman will be able to know her baby’s growth and physical development.