KAMPALA – One out of every 49 women in Uganda die of maternal complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. According to UNICEF, Uganda’s mortality rate is about 440 deaths per 100,000 births, implying that about 16 mothers die every day.
Even with the significant improvements made towards maternal health care especially with investment in antenatal and neonatal specialized treatment, the numbers of maternal deaths are still devastating.
This poses an urgent need for quick solutions from various stakeholders to join hands in ensuring all pregnant mothers have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
To help curb this vice, Stanbic Bank together with ATC Uganda, Huawei, Vivo energy, Liberty Life, UNOC, MTN, Umeme, Uganda Communication Commission, Trademark East Africa, Total, NSSF, Crown Beverages, Uganda Breweries Limited, AFREXIM and United Nations Development Program have come together to address the four critical areas affecting maternal health in Uganda by giving hospital equipment, mothers welfare through mama kits, community outreach and sensitization and ensure health workers welfare are taken care off.
As part of the drive focus area, Stanbic Bank Uganda and ATC Uganda will be donating medical equipment consisting of patient’s monitors, trolleys and dopplers ultrasound machine worth about Ugx 144 Million to Kawempe Referral Hospital to boost its maternal healthcare unit.
Speaking during the handover event, Anne Juuko the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank said, the bank through its SEE (Social Economic & Environment) priority aims at transforming every sector of the economy in efforts to drive Uganda’s growth.
She explained that this is why they believe that appropriate social sustainable programs in the healthcare sector improve service delivery and staff welfare; and investment in advanced equipment will help reduce child deaths.
“Together with ATC Uganda, we are setting a pace that we believe other companies and individuals can follow. The campaign under the theme ‘Every Mother Counts’ was initiated after we realized that it was upon us to step up and take action because all our lives start at birth,” she shared.
Juuko added that due to the overwhelming numbers of pregnant women Kawempe hospital handles daily, they decided to start with donation of hospital equipment, as they transverse into women and staff welfare and reach out to other parts of the country through their community outreach projects.
Dorothy Ssemanda, the Chief Finance Officer at ATC Uganda commended the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and all partners for the initiative, adding that ATC and all corporates ought to be socially responsible to the communities where they operate by giving back.
She thanked all the corporate organizations that have partnered with them to ensure that they make this contribution to society, off their business profits.
She explained that as corporate citizens, they owe their customers and the country the social responsibility to contribute towards addressing some of the critical challenges in the areas of health, education, and others.
“ATC Uganda has made various contributions to the health and wellbeing of our citizens, including but not limited to the procurement of COVID-19 test kits in 2020, worth UGX 345 Million.”
While receiving the donation, Dr. Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary said the leading causes of maternal death in Uganda are hemorrhage, high blood pressure and infections that are largely preventable if detected early enough.
She explained that Kawempe hospital has been grappling with the high patient numbers and mortality deaths as it delivers over 100 births per day and oversees 1,000 mothers weekly, working with limited resources.
The health facility also records the highest number of maternal deaths among the country’s hospitals according to the 2019/2020 Annual Health Sector Performance Report.
“We at the Ministry want to appreciate these entities for their initiatives to support the agenda to achieve our health care goals but most importantly, saving lives of many mothers and children. It is our responsibility as Ugandans to ensure that no mother or child dies during birth especially by the causes that are preventable,”Atwine shared.
She added that these donations are the right step towards resolving these issues and called upon all Ugandans to take part in this initiative and donate anything to support our mothers.
Last year, the campaign kicked off with different private sector organizations pooling resources in terms of essential household goods and items that they donated to the hospital’s staff as a token of appreciation for their work.
This time round the campaign target is to get about 6,000 Mama Kits for the hospital.