By HOMELAND MEDIA NEWSROOM
In an effort to boost maternal and child health care, MTN Foundation last week handed over a newly refurbished and equipped maternity theatre and ward to the Karugutu health centre IV in Ntoroko district.
Karugutu health centre IV is a government-owned facility which serves a catchment population of 27,000 people in the western region of Uganda.
According to Fredrick Kahuma, the hospital in charge of Karugutu health centre IV, there was a dire need for renovation of the dilapidated structures especially in the maternity theatre which affected service delivery.
“The theatre lacked properly functioning equipment to carry out some surgical procedures, for example we didn’t have a suction machine that is used to remove fluid in order to get a clear view of the area one is operating on. The doors were also broken and walls were damaged which posed a security threat to equipment in the theatre as well as an unsterile operating environment for the pregnant mothers,” Kahuma recounted.
It is against that background that the MTN Foundation with support from the official partners of the MTN Kampala Marathon: Rwenzori Bottling Company, Vision Group, Stanbic Bank and Huawei dedicated Shs 180million towards the refurbishment of the health centre. The project was implemented by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through Ministry of Health.
While handing over the facility, Ibrahim Senyonga the General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit said the initiative to refurbish Karugutu health Centre IV reaffirms MTN’s commitment to improving the lives of people in Uganda through supporting government endeavors to extend quality social services to the communities.
“Under this project, MTN Foundation has invested UGX180million to rehabilitate the maternity theater and ward of Karugutu health center IV with quality infrastructure. The health center has also been equipped with medical equipment such as a suction used during operations, delivery beds, delivery kits and baby warmers used in neonatal intensive care units among other items. Our hope is to save lives of mothers and children during childbirth,” Senyonga said.
Kahuma, the in charge of the health centre they had received a range of equipment that will enable us offer better and efficient health care to our patients.
“The additional beds will also enable us carry out more operations so more women and children will receive medical attention,” he said.
Other health centres expected to benefit from the project include: Muyembe health centre IV in Bulambuli district, Kalangala health centre IV in Kalangala district and Pakwach health centre IV in Pakwach district.
As part of the project, MTN Foundation in 2020 invested Shs 400m in refurbishing and equipping Kawempe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Dr Edson Muhwezi, the assistant representative UNFPA said the organization takes pride in a partnership with MTN Foundation to leverage each other’s added value to reduce maternal deaths and help women and girls in Uganda.