Saving Lives At Birth
(PROMOTING ACCESS TO PRENATAL AND POST-NATAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES AMONG LOCAL COMMUNITIES)
Serving Hearts-Uganda, a non -profit organization founded by local people of the under served communities of Butanda in Kabale district and Bufundi in Rubanda district, intends to bring quality health services to the poor and vulnerable women and other people of these two districts and other neighbouring local communities , among other projects like GIRL CHILD (promoting menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health ), wealth creation ( promoting access to income generating activities ),HIV/Aids, Family planning(FP) ,Orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) we hope to make a difference on poor maternal health characterized by limited access to delivery facilities, rudimentary means of transport and poor means of communication. This results into increased cases of still birth, maternal death and mother to child transmission of HIV and being vulnerable to other diseases. The rudimentary transport means involve carrying of expectant mothers on stretchers for a distance of about 5-10 km from home of residence to nearby health center because of absence of motorable roads due to the hilly terrain. The nearest health facility is a health center which is manned by a nurse who cannot manage pre-natal and post-natal health services in addition to lacking the required equipment and drugs thus loss of lives.
There is limited access to antennal services by mothers in reproductive ages particularly in rural communities (hard to reach areas). Mothers are always under the care of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) who are often times untrained and ill equipped. The TBAs pose a potential reproductive health risk and vulnerability to Mother to Child Transmission of HIV. Stunting as a consequence of malnutrition in children under-five years indicates poor or limited access to food.
Whereas Uganda has registered great strides in reducing prevalence of other common diseases like Malaria and respiratory infections (TB and pneumonia), the problems are still more pronounced most especially in rural communities (hard to reach areas). Malaria is still accounting for one of all childhood deaths and is responsible for over 60% impairment of the school children’s learning ability, 60 % abortions/miscarriages (among pregnant women (UDHS, 2012). The most vulnerable group is children under five years hence Malaria is the principal contributor to infant mortality mainly due to low birth weights. Worse still, World Bank estimates that Uganda spends up to 89 billion shillings on malaria treatment alone annually, this has strained provision of other health services.
The objectives of the project
- To mobilize and sensitize women on nutritional status with use of locally available and nutritious foods during pregnancy and after child birth.
- To mobilize and sensitize the community members on reproductive health, family planning, menstrual hygiene management as well as the fight against STIS and HIV/AIDS.
- To reduce the incidences of maternal mortality and child mortality morbidity, among women in the community.
- To mobilize and sensitize girls and women in reproductive age on methods of maintaining proper hygiene during pregnancy and after producing.
- To identify partners and examine their Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenge (SWOC) in issues pertaining antenatal health services.
- To mobilize women into groups and train them in business skills on how to start income generating activities (IGAs) for them to be self-reliant and hence reduce poverty.
- To improve on means of transport to expectant mothers.
- To support and supplement special health related activities and preventive programs such as literacy training for female in sanitation, antenatal and hygiene.
- To construct Serving Hearts-Uganda Community Medical center and staff quarters.
- To mobilize for medical Centre equipments and drugs.
Expected Outcomes: The Results of the program reflects the maternal and child health focus of Health. Expected health outcomes include improved access to professional birthing services by mothers, improvements to immunization, ante natal care coverage, and reduced rates of malnutrition and reduces sexually transmitted diseases/infections among other vulnerable diseases. As a measure of the shift from emergency care to longer term recovery efforts, there will be a focus upon increased capacity for delivery of an essential package of maternal health services, improved availability of essential drug supplies, establishment of community-based financing schemes and strengthened NGO coordination mechanisms at the local level.
The project is expected to cost 1.5 billion One billion five hundred million Uganda shillings (416,667 USD) whereby most of the resources will be injected to the construction of Serving Hearts-Uganda Community Medical Centre ,Equipments and the beneficiaries.
Some of the commonly means used to carry expectant mothers to health centers-stretcher (locally known as Engozi)
Some of the sources of lighting in some rural health centers (locally known as katadooba)