God continues his work of creation in man through childbirth. With this gift, man is able to bring to earth another being through conception and eventual delivery. To many, child birth is an event that is celebrated when one is born alive and well. To bear a child well, any woman needs a good and safe environment with the right equipment and personnel. The health facilities in Masaka Diocese have been providing the maternal services to promote the safety of mothers and their babies for a long time.
All had been well until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Almost the whole world was affected. Many countries were forced to lock down to control the spread of the virus. The lockdown put a ban on all public and private transport including the motorcycles “Bodabodas” and the only acceptable means of transport were bicycles. Pregnant mothers who had been going for antenatal services could no longer visit the health centres, let alone those who were about to deliver. Many mothers, were forced to resort to seeking the services of traditional birth attendants who are not allowed to conduct maternal services any more according to the new Policy of Ministry of Health.
So Masaka Diocesan Medical Services requested Micro Finance Partners in Africa (MPA) for an emergency fund to support mothers with emergencies by providing free transport. The goal of the fund was to ensure safe birth through provision of quick transport to mothers to reach health facilities where they can access maternal care from qualified personnel. MPA was so good to allow provision of the grant of Ugx14,731,200 was given for the cause
To achieve that goal, Masaka Diocesan Medical Services carried the following activities:
- Transported vulnerable mothers to and from health facilities for ANC, delivery and treatment of illness in pregnancy.
- Transported mothers in need of referral services.
- Transported mid-wives invited to rescue mothers in need of emergencies.
- About 200 mothers were supported to have safe births.
A child who needed rehabilitation services and all the 36 health facilities of Masaka benefited indirectly.
The fund has supported the mothers to access services from qualified health personnel. This increased the number of mothers visiting the health facilities. The boy who was helped was a son to a pregnant mother who had come for ANC but also advised to take her child for rehabilitation. She was supported by the fund to reach the Hospital, make a co-payment and to meet a few other expenses.
Special thanks go to Sr. Tonny, Dr. Sherry and to Micro Partners for Africa Board of Directors for financing this project. We are indebted to the in-charges and mid-wives on the front line for the love and passion toward the mothers. I am particularly grateful to those who went an extra mile to follow up mothers after delivering their services. Last but not least I thank the MDMS staff who have supported the coordinator to download the supporting documents and preparing payments to health facilities.
Fr. Emmanuel Katabaazi
Project Coordinator/Diocesan Health Coordinator