4 Oct. 2011
Deeply committed to improving maternal and reproductive health in rural Uganda, the Executive Director of Action Reproductive Health, Mrs. Francoise Riisa Kauzya, spent a month in the field in the Ntungamo District of Uganda. Over the course of that month, Mrs. Kauzya met with a number of key national and local leaders, health professionals and others, to explore the current state of maternal and reproductive health in rural Uganda and to gain insight into how best to work together to improve upon that.
The aims of Mrs. Kauzya’s trip included a number of goals:
- To honour ARH’s commitment to serve the rural Uganda population;
- To develop a more detailed assessment of maternal health, and to explore the on-going hurdles of improving maternal and reproductive health;
- To establish a stronger partnership with the local Ntungamo District leadership, community members, midwives and health providers;
- To train community leaders, stakeholders and supporters on tailoring the male-involvement message for the local community.
Given its limited resources, ARH made sure that the Executive Director made efficient use of her time, achieving a number of significant milestones for our non-profit organisation. Although Mrs. Kauzya was at the forefront of activities, a number of the milestones detailed below could not have been achieved without the considerable support of local officials, medical professionals and supporters in the Ntungamo District. A number of the more notable accomplishments are detailed below:
- Held a number of meetings with Ministry of Health officials, members of the Ugandan Parliament, and other stakeholders, seeking and establishing partnership;
- Participated in the two-week long discussions between Parliament’s Social Service Committee and the Ministry of Health;
- Presented to Parliament’s Social Service Committee on ARH’s agenda for improving maternal health by actively involving men and how members of the Ugandan Parliament can become partners of ARH; many members of Parliament pledged their support to ARH;
- Working with the Ntungamo District Health Officer, Nursing Officer and Health Inspector, conducted a sensitisation workshop for Ntungamo District’s local leadership, including the District administration, councillors and religious leaders;
- Shared male and female health information with members of the Village Health Team, detailing the benefits of involving men as agents of change in the struggle to improve reproductive and maternal health;
- In a session with midwives led by D.H.O. Dr. Aggery Kagwisagye, D.N.O Ms. Jane Birungi and Mrs. Kauzya, discussed the difficulties of delivering quality services and explored ways to improve the delivery of services; this in-depth conversation covered topics such as professionalism, ethics, and attitude towards work;
- Toured health centres and conducted a delivery at Rwashamaire Health Center IV where a young mother had a spontaneous vaginal delivery to a male baby A/S 10 to her second child; Mrs. Kauzya also examined pregnant mothers who had come for ante natal services at a number of other centres in the Ntungamo District;
- In partnership with the District Health Team of Ntungamo, checked on the Placenta Pit that ARH constructed at Nyabushenyi Health Centre;
- Opened an account for ARH with Barclays Bank, allowing ARH to collect donations.