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Stanbic, Health ministry in Shs 5.9bn campaign for safe motherhood

Anne Juuko, Stanbic bank chief executive

Anne Juuko, Stanbic bank chief executive

Stanbic bank and the ministry of Health have launched a cooperative society initiative aimed at raising Shs 5.9 billion for safe motherhood in the country.

The first phase of Corporate Society Motherhood’s support will be implemented in four high-volume facilities with key infrastructure and equipment gaps. The facilities include health centre fours in Packwach, Busanza, Bukasa and Mukono general hospital.

According to the 2020/2021 Annual Health Sector Performance Report, maternal deaths reported by health facilities across the country increased by 126.4% from 1,102 in 2019/2020 financial year to 1,228 in 2020/2021 financial year, with a maternal mortality ratio of 92/100,000, and the institutional maternal mortality ratio has dropped from 108 to 92 per 100,000 deliveries in the last five years.

Dr Diana Atwine, the Health ministry permanent secretary, said the number of mothers accessing health facilities for safe delivery has increased to over 75%.

“This year, we anticipate delivering over one million babies because each year the population increases and the number of people who access our facilities increases. Therefore, there is a need to continuously improve and expand our facilities to take care of the population,” she said.

She said although it is the government’s role to provide service delivery, it is not sufficient to fund everything.

“We encourage corporate society organisations to come on board so that the population receives the services. We wish to provide free services, but we cannot because of the resource envelope. We need to have insurance in the country so that people contribute and so that we can have additional resource pooling. That’s what other countries, even those that have high incomes, have done,” she said.

Anne Juuko, the Stanbic bank chief executive, said as Ugandans ask government the hard questions, they must also ask themselves what they can do to make a difference.

“For the ladies, we have a sub-programme, Mothers for Mothers. You can spare the manicure money for one extra week and at least contribute towards buying a mama kit,” she said.

“We should hold the government accountable, but we should also contribute meaningfully to improve the situation because the resource envelope is constrained.”

“The death of a woman during pregnancy and childbirth is not only a personal tragedy but one that involves the community and the nation as a whole. Our collective duty is to support the improvement of services and scale up interventions, particularly for the vulnerable, hard-to-reach, and the marginalised,” she said.

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