|Installation is already underway
By Nsinda Elman
White Ribbon Alliance Uganda
On 6th March of 2013 Kigezi region saw hope being restored for mothers when the regional populace witnessed the launch of a three year maternal health project code-named “Saving Lives at Birth (SLAB)”, by three partners including The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood- Uganda, African Medical and Research Foundation Uganda (AMREF) and We Care Solar.
Under the Saving Lives at Birth project, 200 health centres in Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts will be provided with solar power to ensure reliable lighting in maternity wards, delivery rooms and operating theaters.
Speaking during the official launch of the project at White Horse Inn, Kabale Town on Wednesday 6th March 2013, The National Coordinator White Ribbon Alliance Uganda disclosed that the alliance would like to use such an innovation as a research case to find out how it can contribute to motivation of health workers and reduction of maternal and neonatal deaths. She also said that WRA Uganda will ensure that communities are empowered to hold their leaders and maternal health service providers in public facilities accountable and demand what they deserve such as more budget allocations to maternal health.
The AMREF Ag. Project Manager Morish Ojok said that: “the project is aimed at helping midwives who have been struggling with candle light to deliver pregnant mothers, with sufficient light so that they are able to save lives of mothers and their newborns.
| A kerosene lantern used at Bigunjiro Health Centre in Kabale district to provide lighting at the
facility. It'is one of the facilities to benefit from the solar power installations through SLAB project
Kabale District Health Officer, Dr Patrick Tusiime, expressed optimism about the project and described it as a real victory for the region. He however showed concern about the absence of more other supplies and equipment which should be used such as delivery beds, delivery kits and sterilizing equipment.
Among other things to be provided to health centers are laptops to capture maternal and neonatal data as well as facilitating eLearning for midwives and nurses. The solar suit case also comes with an electronic Fetal Doppler for sensing the pulses of the pregnant woman and her feotus, rechargeable headlamps and a provision for charging mobile phones.
An estimated one million mothers living in Kigezi Sub-region are expected to benefit
from the SLAB project.
Let us act collectively to save our dear women during pregnancy and childbirth.