MTN Uganda through its CSR arm, MTN Foundation is passionate about social issues, and healthcare is one of them. They have invested millions of shillings into the healthcare Initiative CSR projects —renovating healthcare centres & hospitals, refurbishing maternity wards, and donating supplies such as beds, mattresses, blankets, and mosquito nets to offer better services to patients.
Similarly, some of the healthcare centres and hospitals have received solar lighting equipment and had their entire water system connected.
Among tens of healthcare centers and hospitals the Foundation has supported, Busiu Health Centre IV in Mbale district and Kyenjojo hospital in Kyenjojo District are some of them.
The Foundation refurbished the maternity ward at Busiu Health Centre IV and donated beds and blankets —which has seen more pregnant women seek maternity health care services. Prior to this, the healthcare centre had limited beds and tried to house the mothers for at least 24 hours for purposes of medical review in vain.
“Initially we would tell the mother to stay around for 24 hours but when there was no room for her to sleep, she would go away,” Dr. Bernard Maumbe, the in-charge Busiu Health Centre IV said. He added that the early departure of the mothers from the health centre was one of the reasons why some of the newly born babies died soon after.
Prior to the renovation, the healthcare centre had about 60 women delivering at the facility every month. After the renovation and donation from MTN Foundation, ‘more pregnant women have sought proper medical antenatal services from Busiu Health Centre IV’, said Dr. Maumbe.
“Before we would have around 60 deliveries and now over a month, an average of 120 mothers are delivering from here but some months peak to 200. Antenatal visits are about 80 to 100,” Dr. Maumbe explained. Adding that the healthcare centre efforts of availing medicine have also played a key role in this outcome.
Busiu Health Center IV has now graduated to become a referral station for women in neighboring towns of Butaleja and Manafwa.
Kyenjojo hospital tells the same tale. The hospital received 30 beds and 30 mattresses from MTN which were installed in the general ward. Charles Tusiime, the health officer of Kyenjojo district says these beds have been very instrumental in delivering treatment to the people from the western district.
“The impact much as patients may not know is great. One bed can be used by so many people. In a month you find one bed has served about 5 to 10 people with bed occupancy of about 3 days,” explained Tusiime —as he recounts, the hospital in the past would at times get overwhelmed by the numbers which would force some of the patients to sleep on the floor, a situation they described as floor cases.
Tusiime says the hospital no longer has floor cases in its general ward because of the MTN intervention.
The intervention has also reduced the burden for the hospital allowing it to focus on other aspects in regards to its budget and procurement.
“What we would have been using for procurement of beds has been diverted to the construction of 2 emptiable pit latrines which have addressed the costs associated with the hospital’s sewerage system,” he says.
MTN under the UGX400 million access to health care initiative — a total of 8 healthcare centres and 5 hospitals across the country have been supported.
Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, MTN Uganda CEO lauded the hospitals and healthcare centre staff saying MTN is pleased with the impact they have managed to drive in the community.
“I am very delighted to see the ripple effect of the donation. It makes us at MTN very happy to see the lives of many people impacted and for that, I would like to thank the medical staff for making this happen. As MTN, we shall constantly seek to find ways of transforming the lives of Ugandans,” Vanhelleputte appreciated.