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.