KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
KIHEFO is currently employing a holistic, multi-pronged approach to removing the barriers to maternal health in the Kigezi region of Uganda. KIHEFO’s existing maternal healthcare programs and services, are seeing positive results amongst women who are participating, The antenatal and maternal services has promoted Health and increased maternal knowledge among pregnant women and mothers in Kabale. the addition of an ultrasound imaging technology program – whereby free services are brought directly to pregnant women living in rural communities. Early diagnosis of multiple fetuses (twins) and any pregnancy complications has helped the woman and her partner to plan ahead and make informed decisions as to where they give birth.
The maternal health care services has reduced cultural attitudes of fear and stigma through building trust with the woman, and increasing long-term access to healthcare clinics, and seeking the support of trained medical professionals when necessary. Through
these actions, the objective is that high rates of maternal mortality and negative health consequences following birth will be reduced in the Kigezi region of Uganda. Through this initiative we have seen the number of pregnant women attending antenatal care go up. By the end of December 2015 we were seeing an average of 300 women per month. We had only one midwife and with the support from the District Local government we were able to get additional two midwives by the end of February 2016. Women were all
excited when we announced that we would start delivering at the beginning of March 2016. By 15th March 2016 Three babies have been delivered so far. USAID is training the midwives on critical life saving skills. After several years of continuous efforts towards achieving this goal we have finally made it. Without the critical part played by Change for Children we would still not be able to achieve this long awaited output.
FIRST BABY DELIVERED IN THE HOSPITAL.
24 year old Tusiime Night from Nyakambu, Kirigime was blessed with a bouncing baby girl. she could not hide the tears of joy after a two hour spell in the delivering ward at Kirigime hospital. This marks yet another land mark on the KIHEFO Calendar as March, 5th 2016, KIHEFO was thrilled to receive the first KIHEFO baby delivered at Kirigime Hospital. From a dream to a reality and that is what happened at Kirigime Hospital on March, 5th 2016 as the first delivery was made at 16: 18 GMT. Night is a typical mother from urban poor slam areas with limited
Access to health care. She attended antenatal care for seven months because of the free ultrasound scan project for the poor women. She had no body to help her because the husband is a casual laborer who leaves home very early in the morning and comes late at night. They were not even prepared to receive their new baby as evidenced by her coming with an empty hand when she went into labor contractions. She did not even have the basic kit for all mothers to deliver that has sterile gloves, polythene sheet, cord ligatures and cotton wool. This kit costs about 5 US dollars and all pregnant women are advised to buy them in advance and come to the hospital with the kid.
The Midwives and excited KIHEFO volunteers contributed money to buy the baby sheets and a few clothes for the baby. The husband arrived at midnight only to find a bouncing baby girl. There are many women who face similar situations both in the rural and urban areas. We are happy that the hospital is serving exactly the intended. At the moment we are negotiating with of Health and USAID to pay salaries for the three midwives supply delivery kits and recruit additional two midwives to make then five as the number keeps growing. Everybody is very grateful with the support from Change for Children without which this noble cause would not be achieved.