A long held ambition in the Church of Uganda to save the lives of expectant mothers and their newborn babies, especially from the poor families in Kasese Municipality, has been realized.
This follows the commissioning of a Japanese government funded twenty-six bed maternity ward worth over Sh.202 million at the St. Paul’s Health Centre-Kamaiba, owned by South Rwenzori Diocese.
“This is a big step in saving the lives of many expectant mothers especially those who cannot afford to go to expensive private clinics in Kasese town”, said Ruth Masika who is in her seventh month of pregnancy at the commissioning of the health facility.
Presiding over the function, the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Kazuo Minagwa, said that the Japanese government had funded the construction of the maternity ward as part of the grant assistance for human security projects.
In a short speech the Ambassador said: “ …a total of 155 projects have been funded under the scheme since its inception in 1992”, adding that the Japanese government had so far injected over $1 billion into the scheme in Uganda.
He said that Japan was steadily promoting partnership with African countries through Tokyo International Conference on African Development process and that his country was committed to boosting economic growth, achieving the Millennium Development Goals and consolidating peace and good governance in Africa.
In his speech, the Bishop of the South Rwenzori Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Jackson Nzerebende, thanked the people of Japan for the support towards safe motherhood projects of the church.
He said the expectant mothers had been sharing a general ward at the health centre with other patients, which he said was exposing the mothers and the newly born babies to health risks.
Nzerebende, said that the commissioning of the maternity ward with all the necessary equipment and furniture, realizes the strategy by the church to participate in projects
intended to save the lives of expectant mothers especially those from poor families.
He said that St. Paul’s Health Centre was one of the integrated service delivery projects of the Anglican Church in Kasese which was started in 1989 with Norwegian funding
operating under Christian principles and values.
The Bishop said that the Diocese had plans to elevate St. Paul’s Health Centre to a Hospital status by 2015 asking for more support to realize the vision.
South Rwenzori Diocese also owns Kagando Hospital about 50 kilometers north-west of Kasese town, a facility now working as a branch of the Christian University Mukono that trains multipurpose nurses.