In an effort to boost maternal and child health care, MTN Foundation has handed over a newly refurbished and equipped maternity theatre and ward to the Karugutu health centre IV in Ntoroko district.
According to Fredrick Kahuma, the hospital incharge of Karugutu health centre IV, there was a dire need for renovation of the dilapidated structures especially in the maternity theater which affected service delivery.
“The theater 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 theater as well as an unsterile operating environment for the pregnant mothers,” Kahuma recounts.
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 UGX180million towards the refurbishment of the health centre.
The project was implemented by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the Ministry of Health.
Karugutu health centre IV is a government-owned facility which serves a catchment population of 27,000 people in the western region of Uganda.
The Karugutu health centre IV refurbishment is part of a grand commitment by MTN Foundation and its partners to refurbish five other health centres across the country through the UGX1.3Billion project funded by proceeds from the MTN Kampala Marathon since 2018.
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.
He remarked, “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,” Ibrahim said noting that the initiative is timely as the world draws closer to celebrating the International Women’s Day.
Senyonga was reiterated by the Director Curative services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Olaro, who was representing the state minister for health. He appreciated MTN for its support in ensuring affordable healthcare services in the country.
“We value the engagements with private sector such as MTN Foundation in the improvement of public health services. Around most of the already accomplished interventions MTN has undertaken, we are now seeing increased utilization of maternal and child health services. I am optimistic we shall be able to see it here (Karugutu) too,” he said.
Similarly appreciating MTN and its partners for the effort, Kahuma said: “We have 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 UGX400m 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.
Last month, the MTN Foundation Uganda, handed over a newly completed sanitary facility to Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital in Kampala, following the soaring numbers of mental health patients that caused constraints on the existing facilities.