KAMPALA – The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health has received health equipment worth Shs296 million ($80,000) from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in a move to continue ensuring quality healthcare. The donation was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kampala under The Answer Program.
The donated equipment comprises delivery beds, sterilization, drums, oxygen concentrators, fetal dopers, Dopplers, BP machines, pulse oximeters, and B box for resuscitation delivery sets and obstetrics surgery kits.
Handing over the assortment at the Ministry of Health on Friday morning, Dr. Mary Otieno, UNFPA Representative in Uganda noted that they noticed several gaps after conducting a quick assessment in consultation with the district health teams in Acholi and in West Nile.
“This contribution of equipment with funding from the Netherlands is to address some of the equipment needs.”
“We are confident these are sorted equipment will improve the quality of care in labor and delivery of mothers,” she added.
Dr. Otieno says that with funding from different donors, UNFPA has been supporting a health system strengthening program in over 200 health facilities in the West Nile and Acholi sub-regions.
Under the program which started in 2020 and ending in September 2023, UNFPA has worked closely with various departments and key officers at the Ministry of Health to ensure the improvement of quality services through capacity building, mentorship of health workers, commodity security management, sexual reproductive health outreaches data management and procurement of equipment and its accessories, among others.
Dr. Otieno congratulated Uganda on the progress on maternal mortality.
“The recent report released on global trends in maternal mortality between 2002 and 2020 by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the World Bank Group indicates that Uganda has made significant progress of a 15% reduction in maternal mortality from 336 to 284 deaths per 100,000 live births in only five years. So we really need to congratulate ourselves.”
She, however, called on all the stakeholders to further triple their collective efforts as they reflect on the investments required to accelerate the achievement of the sustainable development agenda 2030.
“As UNFPA, we are fully committed to taking on this daring challenge to achieve the three transformative goals of ending preventable maternal deaths, ending the unmet need for family planning and ending gender-based violence and other harmful practices,” she pledged.
Ms. Ruth Van Zorge, the First Secretary, SRHR and Gender at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kampala revealed that sexual reproductive health is one of the priority areas of the Netherlands in Uganda.
She was happy that as the program comes to an end, it is already registered clear impressive results and particularly in improving access to quality reproductive health services, and also increasing access to family planning commodities for women, but also for young people.
“The program has successfully strengthened various pillars of the health system, and it could not have done so without a strong involvement of the government of Uganda, particularly of course, the Ministry of Health at the national level.”
Ms. Ruth commended dedicated health workers, particularly in the West Nile region for doing great work even in very challenging circumstances.
“As the program comes to an end this year, we strongly hope that the improved structures and increased capacities will have a lasting effect in the healthcare profession in the answer districts and the lives of women and young people.”
Receiving the equipment, Hon. Anifa Kawooya Bangirana, The State Minister of Health-General Duties noted that the support over the decades is bearing fruit towards the improvement of Maternal Health and Sexual Reproductive Health among Ugandans.
“The strength of this cooperation and synergy among you the development partners, and the Government of Uganda, has placed us on the path to achieving our development goals, especially SDG 3 (Good health and Wellbeing) that UNFPA is directly contributing to.”
“UNFPA with donors like the Netherlands Embassy has supported the Government in equipping health facilities which we believe are game changers in the reduction of complications and death of mothers and their newborn babies,” she appreciated.
Kawooya is optimistic that the equipment will contribute to the improvement of quality of care in the maternity wards in the health facilities that will receive them.
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