Sunday, November 13, 2011


By Senfuka Samuel

                                   L-R: Katy Woods ( WRA Global Mobilization Coordinator UK office),
                               Robina Biteyi (Nationa Coordinator), Mrs. Janet Museveni (Patron),
                                                      Hon. Christine Ondoa (Minster of Health) and Senfuka Samuel (Programme Officer)

On 09th November, 2011 WRA Uganda Secretariat met with Mrs. Janet Museveni, WRA Uganda Patron ahead of the Annual General Members Meeting scheduled to take place on 18th November, 2011 at Fairway Hotel. Mrs. Museveni is also the First Lady, a Member of Parliament and Minister of Karamoja Region. The meeting aimed at reflecting on the alliance's achievements, lessons and challenges for 2011 and the way forward for 2012. It was a very cordial meeting and Hon. Christine Ondoa, Minister of Health was in attendance.  

The Patron expressed her appreciation for the achievements the alliance has made in 2011 and called for more efforts and focus on the rural areas where the biggest problem of maternal and newborn deaths exist. “The communities have to be made more aware about their responsibilities to look after their health and prepare for childbirths.” She was concerned that the Ministry of Health (MoH) has not yet strengthened the Village Health Teams (VHTs) to do their work better at the community level. She called on WRA Uganda and MoH to strengthen the prevailing working relationship in contributing towards reduction of maternal and newborn deaths.

Hon. Ondoa pledged to work more closely with White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and create strong linkages with the ministry's Reproductive Health and Communications departments in order to produce information, education and communication (IEC) materials for district and community levels. The minister added that we need an integrated approach to maternal health, which focuses more on prevention. She mentioned that the ministry has put in place an ambitious integrated plan to eradicate malaria in the next 5years. The ministry is also focusing on malnutrition, scaling up family planning services and training more midwives in collaboration with other partners.

Please do not miss the Patron’s (Mrs. Janet Museveni) full message to all alliance members at the Annual General Members Meeting on 18th November, 2011 starting at 8:30am at Fairway Hotel, Kampala.

Monday, November 7, 2011

WRA Uganda Gets Support for Namwezi Health Centre III

By Senfuka Samuel

WIMA Treasurer showing to community members and other guests some of the equipment donated as Ms Dorothy Mpiima, Woman MP Buikwe district witnesses.
Namwezi Health Centre III is found in Njeru Town Council, in the newly created district of Buikwe. It is 5km away from Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Jinja district. As part of the services offered by a health centre III, Namwezi also offers maternity services. According to Ms Ruth Nanziri the In-charge as well as a Clinical Officer, on average the facility manages 3 deliveries a day. Over 300 women come for antenatal care services a month (1st visit and subsequent ones). It has two enrolled midwives and two enrolled nurses.

By WRA Uganda zoning, Namwezi health centre is found in Jinja region. WRA Uganda Secretariat staff members have been making regular visits to the region and working with Namwezi Health centre staff and community members and WRA members. Besides the common challenges faced by health centres in Uganda such as inadequate staffing, low pay for health workers, lack of staff housing, Namwezi also lacked essential medical equipment. For instance hospital recommended delivery; examination and resting beds. The available beds were nearly broken down. Among other equipment the health centre lacked was a Blood Pressure machine in light of the known fact that 6% of maternal deaths in Uganda are caused by eclampsia. This made it difficult for the health workers to detect such complications in early stages of pregnancy.

The centre’s undesirable situation drove WRA Uganda to approach Women’s International Maternity Aid (WIMA) and appealed for support to save the lives of women in Njeru through provision of life saving equipment. WIMA is a voluntary non-profit organization of Ugandan expatriate women dedicated to helping the people of Uganda improve and extend mother and child care facilities. Gladly WIMA honored WRA Uganda request and visited the centre to assess the situation and later informed WRA that the request was granted.

On 28th October 2011 WRA Uganda in collaboration with its regional members, Namwezi health centre management, community and Town Council leaders as well as community members organized a function at Namwezi Health Centre to officially receive the support from WIMA. A team of WIMA members led by Ms Eleanor Bageine, Chairperson, Gorretie Bamwanga, Secretary and WIMA Treasurer officially handed over an assortment of equipment to the centre that included the following.

1.                          Delivery bed (1)
2.                         Ward Bed Adult (1)
3.                          Examination bed (1)
4.                          Mattress with cover (1)
5.                          Bed pan (1)
6.                         Wheel chair (1)
7.                          Oxygen Regulator (1)
8.                          Resuscitator (infant) (1)
9.             Delivery Instrument set (1)
10.                    Stethoscope (1)
11.                    Stethoscope feotal wood (2)
12.                    Infusion Stand (2)
13.                    Screen with caster (1)
14.                    Blood Pressure Machine (1)
15.                    Weighing scale (Baby) (1)
16.                    Thermometer (1)
17.                    Autoclave /Sterilizer (1)
18.                    Waste bin (1)
19.                    Aprons (3)

Hon Dorothy Mpiima. Woman MP for Buikwe district also graced the occasion. She was moved by the support and also donated a generator for power back up. Mr. Majerani Luboyera, Njeru Town Council Deputy Clerk also donated a lap top to enhance record and data management for the centre.  

We extend our great appreciation to the benevolent members of WIMA. There is no better way to Play your Part like WIMA did in seeing that NO woman dies while giving life!

Mothers happily witnessed the support intended to contribute to save their lives

Oxygen Regulator with other assortments 

A bed, waste bin and screen with caster
Ms Robina Biteyi and Margaret Hasasha charting with community members who turned up to witness the support
Robina and Margaret inside the health centre
Ms Eleanor Begeine, Chairperson WIMA giving a speech

Ms Eleanor holding a baby in show of love they need from everyone
Members pose for a Group photo

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The White Ribbon Alliance Kabale Donate To the Siamese Twins

By Elman Nsinda
WRA Uganda

Parents receive the funds. L-R: Dr Male Deputy Executive Director of Mulago Hospital, Mr. Byamugisha (father of the twins), Mr Isaac Kawonawo, Ms Robina Biteyi, Mr Sam Arinaitwe, Mrs Rosette Byamugisha (mother of the twins) and Sr. Ssenkabirwa in charge of the twins. 
A young couple Tumusiime and Rosette from Kabale District were blessed with twins early this year; The C-section was conducted successfully at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital. Twins were found with abnormality-Siamese twins conjoined at the abdomen. This called for specialist care and support for the newborns to survive. The support ranges from financial, medical, psychological and love. This prompted The White Ribbon Alliance Kabale Regional members to spearhead a fundraising drive through a charity walk in the district to support the family.

Members were able to mobilize UGX 4.1 Million (About USD$1500). On 24th September 2011, the team together with the WRA Uganda office and Mulago National Referral Hospital management organized an official handed over of the funds to the parents at Mulago Hospital where the babies were admitted for specialist care and assessment. This was done before members of the Press to create more awareness about newborns health and the support which is required from other well-wishers. It was also important for purposes of accountability and transparency of the members.
The head of the Kabale team Arinaitwe Samuel (WRA Youth Representative) said that (they) as safe motherhood advocate had to come up with the little they had to help babies survive. Others in attendance were Kawonawo Isaac, Secretary WRA Kabale region, Ms Robina Biteyi, National Coordinator among others.   

Please follow this YouTube link to watch the official handover of the funds at Mulago or copy and paste it in your browser: 

Ms Robina Biteyi, National Coordiantor talking to the media after handover the funds.