The deputy governor of Bank of Uganda (BoU), Mr Michael Atingi-Ego, has asked Ugandans to embrace cashless financial transactions to save the Central Bank from expenses of printing money notes.
“Bank of Uganda spends a lot of money in printing new currency notes and if the citizens can embrace cashless forms of financial transactions through telecom companies such as mobile money, this will save the bank from spending on printing more money thus using the savings to support community healthcare systems and environmental conservation,” Mr Atingi-Ego said.
He made the call while commissioning a Shs500m maternity ward at Rubaya Health Centre IV in Kabale District at the weekend.
The Central Bank funded the project in memory of its late governor, Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, who spearheaded several initiatives aimed at improving maternal and child healthcare.
Mr Atingi-Ego said the bank’s journey towards supporting and enhancing maternal and child healthcare started in 2016 when they celebrated 50 years of existence.
He said the late Tumusiime-Mutebile rallied stakeholders and well-wishers to raise funds through a charity walk.
Mr Atingi-Ego said the proceeds from that BoU@50 charity walk have funded renovations at several health centres such as Bwizibwera Health Centre IV in Mbarara District in 2019, Ayivuni Health Centre III (Arua) in 2020, Nakaloke Health Centre III (Mbale) in 2020 and Omel Health Centre (Gulu) in 2020.
He also said the bank would soon release funds to revamp and re-equip Kigorobya Health Centre IV in Hoima District, Rwoburunga Health Centre III (Mitooma), and Magoro Health Centre III (Katakwi).
The State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Industry), Mr David Bahati, who presided over the function, lauded BoU for supporting healthcare services and pledged continued government support.
“I will always support maternal and child healthcare activities. I am grateful to the NRM government for its support to maternal and child health because of reduced mortality rate. Before the NRM government came into power, mortality rate was at 500/1,000 but now it has reduced to 300/1,000. We need to work as a team to ensure that we overcome preventable maternal and child healthcare challenges,” Mr Bahati said.
Dr Denis Matsiko, a medical officer at Rubaya Health Centre IV, said the new maternity ward can accommodate 15 mothers and their caregivers, adding that and the BoU equipped it with beds and mattresses, an ultrasound scan machine, among other equipment.