Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kawempe National Referral Hospital is struggling to address the congestion at the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit. The unit has more than one hundred premature and neonates admitted, in addition, up to 70 mothers deliver at the facility daily.
Dr Nehemia Katusiime, the hospital executive director says the big number overwhelm the health workers considering that they are working amidst inadequate staff and space.
Katusiime who was speaking on Tuesday during a visit to the facility by the Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta where Rotary District 9213 launched their Maternal and Child Health program, says that the facility lacks staff quarters. He adds that the facility has 100 health workers instead of the required 476.
According to Katusiime, last year, the number of mothers they received went down slightly to 21,300 because the majority couldn’t access care due to COVID-19 restrictions.
On average, they had been receiving 24,000 mothers annually.
He also says that to address the challenge of congestion at the hospital, they have had talks with communities neighbouring the facility to sell the land, but are only waiting for a response from the government.
Mercy Kainobwisho, in charge of the Maternal and Child Health program, says they have specifically zeroed on maternal and child health to be able to contribute towards saving of mothers especially now that the country is recording more teenage pregnancies and related complications arising from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She says that every Rotary club in the country will be required to incorporate activities related to maternal and child health in their programs to help vulnerable communities.
According to Kainobwisho, they have categorized their program into five main areas including empowering adolescent girls and young women, supporting antenatal care, delivering and postpartum women.
Others include motivation of health workers involved in maternal and child health work in addition to infrastructure development that involves rehabilitation and purchase of hospital equipment.
The Rotarians donated oxygen concentrators, mama kits, buckets and diapers.