What you need to know:
- According to the donors, the new facility has the capacity to safely deliver more than 3,000 babies every year, while providing neo-natal healthcare to mothers and babies.
Expectant women in Mbale City will no longer trek long distances to access health services following the construction of a Shs660m maternity ward at Bukasakya Health Centre III.
Nick Maughan Maternity Centre was constructed with funding from Hereended Spotlight on Africa, an NGO.
According to the donors, the new facility has the capacity to safely deliver more than 3,000 babies every year, while providing neo-natal healthcare to mothers and babies.
The 100-bed facility serves Kisenyi cell, Marale, Musoto, Masanda, Malukhu, and Bugema villages, among others.
It is equipped with a theatre, laboratory, ultra-scan and x-ray room, private delivery room, two rooms for antenatal care, and three doctor’s rooms, among others.
Speaking during its unveiling last week, Dr David Okwalinga attached to Bukasakya Health Centre III, said the facility will boost maternal services.
“This will reduce maternal deaths, improve the quality of services and the health of pregnant mothers,” he said.
Mr Richard Okotel, the executive director Spotlight for Africa Uganda Foundation, said the maternity ward will decongest the hospital.
“We are doing this to provide the much-needed health services to a community where home births are common and maternal and neonatal death rates are higher,” Mr Okotel said.
According to their survey, 80 percent of women in the area deliver from their homes.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Ms Diana Atwine, who was the chief guest, asked the community to embrace family planning. Mr Titus Ojok, the chairperson of Kisenyi Cell, said the facility will help teenage mothers.
“Our young girls will find a place to seek guidance and counselling and this will help them stay in school,” he said.
According to Mr Robert Mukamba, the former LC3 chairperson of Bukasakya Sub-county, the facility will assist about 35,000 people in the villages and neighbouring communities.
Locals speak out
Ms Scovia Naluwende, a resident of Kisenyi cell, said they have been trekking from Kisenyi cell to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. “Most expectant women have either been delivering from home under the care of traditional birth attendants or on the way to the hospital,” Ms Naluwende said. She added that other women have not been attending the antenatal services due to long distances. Ms Lonna Musumbu, another woman, said the new facility will motivate mothers to deliver from health facility. Mr Titus Ojok, the Kisenyi Cell village chairperson, said the facility will reduce delays and costs that pregnant mothers have been incurring to access the services.