Category: Health Published on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:10 Written by Umar Weswala
By Umar Weswala
“Where there is no hygiene, there is infection” Dr. Edson Muhwezi - UNFPA Uganda
“Clean water is key to menstrual Hygiene, without it, girls in Karamoja sit under the sun to manage their periods” Godfrey Walakira - Straight Talk Foundation Uganda.
“Something as simple as Pads should not keep girls out of school” Sophia Grinvalds – Afripads
They were addressing health reporters in Kampala during the monthly Science Café organised by the Health Journalists Network of Uganda (HEJNU) with support from UNFPA Uganda and Reach a Hand Uganda.
The focus issue for the March Science café was menstrual hygiene with special emphasis on, in and out of school girls.
In his submission, Dr. Edson from UNFPA Uganda Office noted that menstrual hygiene is an integral part of UNFPA’s ongoing work to deliver a world where every young person's potential is fulfilled.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 March 2017 09:44
Category: Health Published on Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:25 Written by Umar Weswala
By Umar Weswala
They are about 90 of them, bonded to Health Facilities around Karamoja region. Some of them are as young as 19 years but well qualified Midwives, full of energy and dedication to service. Several of them are on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) one year payment contract as they wait to be recruited by government; but to them, saving the lives of mothers and the new borns comes first.
A number of them were bonded to facilities as recently as November 2016 but their impact is already being felt at their respective health centers and communities.
Angella Emmanuella was bonded to Nadunget Health Center III in Moroto in November 2015 and hardly a day goes without her managing or referring a delivery or pregnancy related case.
She recalls one weekend when she had to forego her outing to attend to attend a Prime Gravida with twins (one across the other).
On reaching the Health Center, she ended up attending to four cases – managing and referring three emergencies to Moroto Hospital and delivering one.
“All the mothers referred survived with their babies and they were very grateful to me ‘saving their lives’” – Angella recalls.
In all cases, the nature and speed of her intervention could determine the survival of the mothers and new borns.
“Sometimes I wonder, what would be the fate of these mothers if I wasn’t here” says Angella.
One of the mothers was severely bleeding and her previous deliveries were all caesarean. The In charge was away for exams and the ambulance was down at that time. She has to first manage the bleeding before dispatching her to the main Hospital.
It could not be by Boda Boda because the condition of the mother required her to be in a resting position. She had to walk for a Kilometer to town and get a private car whose battery was down. In her gumboots and Apron, she had to push the car for a several meters before the engine started.
“The In-charge of Moroto Hospital praised me for my life saving intervention” says Angella.
Despite her life saving interventions, Angella is not yet recruited by the government. Her one year payment contract with UNFPA for her service has ended. As per the bonding agreement between the government of Uganda and UNFPA, Angella and her fellow UNFPA supported Midwives should be on the government payroll at the end of their contract with UNFPA.
Nadunget Health center serves a population of 8457 people, 423 of who are pregnant mothers. Without the presence of Midwives like Angella, the lives of these mothers are in danger.
At Kotido Health Center IV in Kotido District, Angella’s colleague Sarah Adeke has more less the same story.
Offering life saving services in places where they are needed most and to the people who need them most – the Karimojong babies and mothers.
Karamoja should be proud to have such Midwives because despite the fact that they risk offering their services without payment, following the end of their contract with UNFPA, and despite the offers made to them by private hospitals and clinics, they insist that they are not going anywhere.
“No amount of money can bring happiness to me than saving the lives of mothers and new borns here in Karamoja, my native homeland” says Angella.
“I came all the way from Teso region to offer services here in Karamoja where not many people want to serve. Money is important but Midwifery is a calling not a job; if the government appreciates my decision and services, it should sort out the recruitment issue sooner than later” says Adeke.
Angella agrees with Adeke, noting that it is the government that should worry more about her remuneration because she has fulfilled her side of the bargain – qualifying, reporting and serving at a health facility where she was bonded.
The Kotido District Health Officer Dr. Olinga Philip says he would hire the not yet recruited Midwives ‘yesterday’ if he had the resources because according to him, Kotido District has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of supervised pregnancies and deliveries, thanks to the bonded Midwives.
Unfortunately for him, the funds for recruiting public servants are controlled by the central government.
He is now counting on the assurance given by the Midwives that with or without remunerations, they are sticking with Karamoja.
Meanwhile, mothers in Karamoja whose lives depend on these Midwives are keeping their fingures crossed and hoping that these unsung heroes of theirs are recruited sooner than later by the government of Uganda.
Last Updated on Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:25
Category: Health Published on Saturday, 11 February 2017 17:19 Written by Umar Weswala
The United States has demonstrated its ongoing support and commitment to improving the health and well-being of Ugandans by donating the state-of-the-art medical equipment to the country’s health sector.
Last Updated on Saturday, 11 February 2017 17:19
Category: Health Published on Wednesday, 30 November 2016 11:20 Written by Umar Weswala
By Umar Weswala
A youth activist and World Contraception Day Ambassador Kaviri Ali has embraced online platforms as the new battle ground for his campaign against teenage and unwanted pregnancies in Uganda.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:22