Work on Shs413m neonatal unit starts at Kamuli hospital

Wednesday August 12 2020

Left to right: Kamuli deputy RDC Godfrey Mbetegyereize, national newborn care steering committee chairperson Margaret Nakakeeto, Plan International Programme manager in Kamuli Zaituna Asio, and other officials at the ground-breaking ceremony at the weekend. PHOTO | SAM CALEB

The construction of a Shs413m neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has started at Kamuli District General Hospital.

Newborn babies who need intensive medical care are often put in a special area of the hospital called NICU. The NICU has advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to give special care for the patients.

During a ground-breaking ceremony overseen by the main funders, Plan International Uganda at the weekend, Ms Cissy Kaamu, the national health programme manager at the organisation, called for concerted efforts to ensure that no child dies at birth.

She added that every mother and child should be reached because formative stages are the most important in child growth and development.

“Under our sexual reproductive health programmes, we emphasise on giving gender sensitive information, access and availability to health services through training and mentorship to cover up gaps in drug supply in addition to policy and advocacy,” Ms Kaamu said.

Ms Margaret Nakakeeto, the chairperson of newborn steering committee in the Ministry of Health, said: “When we started as the new-born steering committee, we said we are going to do a responsive and sustainable system for the newborn and we are glad Plan International has taken lead as a child-centred organisation to ensure no child dies at birth.”


The Kamuli District health officer, Dr Fred Duku, said the facility will be a landmark for the ‘new-born headaches’ since it will be complete with a standby generator and solar power.
Dr Duku said he anticipates an influx of premature births arising from the Covid-19 lockdown due to the rise in teenager pregnancies.

“We are grateful to the donors for thinking about the children given that national premature births is at 27 per one thousand and the district is above 32 per one thousand deliveries. While we can accommodate between eight and ten for incubation, we get about 130 deliveries monthly,” Dr Duku revealed.
Meanwhile, Walukuba Health Centre IV in Walukuba-Masese Ward, Jinja City, has been renovated after 60 years.

The Jinja City head of health department, Dr Steven Banonya, said the renovation was done by Bidco Uganda Ltd at Shs100m. He said the dilapidated ceiling board has been replaced with a concrete ceiling. Other works were on the water system, power system and broken window screens.

Dr Banonya said the 15-bed capacity health centre handles 300 patients per day while up to 120 mothers give birth every month.

“The help offered by Bidco has brought a sigh of relief to the health workers and patients,’’ he said.
Bidco’s head of finance Mathew Kok, said the renovation is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility and a commitment to supporting communities that consume their products.

Advocacy. “We have all the food available but our children remain malnourished because good food is sometimes for the husband and not the children or wife. That is why we promote gender sensitive information, training and mentorship under our sexual reproductive health programme,’’Ms Cissy Kaamu, the national health programme manager, Plan International Uganda