Rotary builds maternity facility at Mukono hospital

By Eriah Lule

One of the different measures that the government put in place to fight COVID-19 was a country wide lock down. This increased the rate of child mothers all over the country.

Many faced different challenges during their pregnancy, more so in the antenatal units, where they paid occasional visits to see doctors like any other expectant mother.

Annet Nalugwa, a resident of Kisowera Town Council in Mukono District, was in senior one at 14 when she got pregnant in the first lock down. Annet notes that the cruelty and the high level of stigmatization she faced in the antenatal units was beyond her imagination.

“I was bullied by not only the health workers but even by my fellow patients. This really hurt me so much. At that point, if I knew then how to abort, trust me, my baby wouldn’t see the light of the day today,” she said.

The Rotary Club of Mukono saw the gap that would be filled through humanitarian intervention at Mukono General Hospital.

Paul Senyonga the president elect of the Rotaract club of Mukono and a Uganda Christian University Alumnus from the School of Social Sciences noted that they made research to prove these challenges, a needs assessment was carried out to build a maternal ward for young mothers.

“I was very touched when I heard of such stories, I couldn’t stand on my feet but also try and cause a change. As a social worker, I felt this was in one way going to help me impact change in society,” said Senyonga.

The facility was established just exactly near the kiosks that sell newborn items on the far left of the hospital. A resting/waiting shed was constructed that would ooze fresh air to these young mothers.

Cynthia Assimwe, the outgoing President, said that it was constructed on a grant of USD70,000 from the Rotary Clubs in Canada through Full Soul, a not-for-profit organization. 

She further noted that this included buying equipment not only for Mukono General Hospital but also for 9 other hospitals across the country. 10% of the equipment was present and the rest was delayed by some hiccups by the suppliers, but they were 100% clear that it just awaited delivery.

Emeritus president Tamale Zachery and a senior laboratory technologist at UCU’s medical center (Allan Galpin), applauded the work done by Rotary. It is such work that is going to also boost our students who pay for visits at the hospital for their internships and hospital practice.

“I am happy and fully satisfied that with such a project, we as a university train nurses and public health workers who are going to gain more exposure to teenage mothers. “This is also going to create a window for better service delivery since teenage mothers will get the extra care they need,” noted Tamale.

While receiving the facility, Dr. Kasirye Geoffrey, the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, said that it’s always such kinds of mercy that save other people’s lives; teenage mothers getting this facility is going to even help us as the administration offer effective services to them. 

The District Health Officer of Mukono District, Dr. Mulindwa Steven, noted that when we see such challenges in our communities, it always takes collective efforts and responsibility as a community to address them.

The Guest of Honor , John Magezi  Ndamira  the Rotary District Governor District thanked  the collective efforts that the clubs have put together to address issues affecting Society, “Am very thankful because you have worked in our theme, Maternal and Child health,” he said.

Among the many guest was the former Mayor of Mukono Municipality Hon Kagimu Fred , Chairman Board of Directors Dr. Kephar  Ssempagi, health workers, the Chief Administration Officer Nkata James and the District Vice Chairman Al Hajji Asuman Muhumuza.