Rushooka Maternal Health Clinic - Uganda

April is Rotary Maternal Health month

 
Cataraqui Kingston RC is helping to deliver maternal health care in a deeply underserviced rural area of western Uganda.
Located in Rushhooka, Kayonza sub county, Ntungamo District, 375 miles from Kampala and 60 miles from the closest regional hospital, the Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre offered out patient services only to a catchment area with a population of almost 30,000 people.  Acting as International Partner for this Global Grant Project (GG2015340) with the host club, Kampala Kolola Rotary Club,  through the Rotary Foundation, Cataraqui Kingston RC has facilitated the purchase of medical equipment to enable the Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre to equip an operational theatre for child birth inclusive of a diesel electrical generator to provide reliable power and to provide further training for 17 Health Workers and 85 Health Care Teams.  
The goal of the project is to reduce maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births and end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age. 
 
Catchment Area – The population of the Kayonza sub county was most recently estimated to be 28,600 persons.  The health centre also draws patients from the entire Ntungamo District and neighbouring Districts.
Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre -  With the help of Rotary club of Kampala  Kololo  and other friends, the Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre has put up a building to be used as a maternity health centre with two operation theaters to be able to provide medical care for expectant mothers and their newborns.  Besides medical equipment to equip the operating theatres, the Centre needed a stable, reliable source of electric power for safe operation of its medical equipment.  Electrical power is currently supplied through renewable, but intermittent, sources.   Training for 17 health care workers in the operation and maintenance of the medical equipment and the electrical generator is being provided as part of the project.
Medical Services offered - the Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre offered outpatient services only before the acquisition of the equipment to furnish the operational theatre.  It continues to deliver an out reach program attending to patients in outlying villages, inclusive of offering antenatal care to pregnant mothers.  Training for 85 Village Health Teams is being provided as part of this project to improve the quality of care being provided in the village communities relating to antenatal care and the treatment of HIV/AIDS by these teams.  During 2014 and 2015 the Centre delivered antenatal care to an average of 2300 women annually.  In 2015, 16 of the mothers were found to be HIV positive.  
Community Needs – Mothers and the general community have for long expressed the need to receive full treatment at the Mother Fransisca Lechner Health Centre.   Full maternal medical care, prior to this project was only available at the District Hospital, in Itojo, 60 miles away.  This is a considerable distance in rural Uganda.  Travel is difficult and travel time is lengthy.  The quality of care offered by the few public facilities along the way between Rushooka and Itoho is poor due to inadequate equipment and infrastructure as well as frequent absence of personnel and medicines.  Private medical facilities are unlicenced and very expensive.  None of these options offered the full range of maternal health services, inclusive of a comprehensive package of antennal care, normal delivery and caesarean section, if needed, to reduce the risk of maternal mortality.  In addition, there are an increasing number of mothers with HIV/AIDS in the catchment area who require attention from skilled medical personnel and a safe environment for deliver to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV.
Funding – the total cost of this project was over $55,000 USD.  A network of Rotary Clubs around the world contributed to the funding.  
  1. Kampala Kolola RC    -       $7,500  (host Rotary Club)
  2. Rotary District 9211   -    $10,000
  3. Cataraqui Kingston RC -    $5,000  (International Rotary Club Partner)
  4. Medicine Hat RC   -            $2,000
  5. Madras Coromandel RC - $4,000
  6. Campbellford RC             $725  
  7. Montreal Lakeshore RC    $3,612
  8. Rocky Mount RC              $500
The Rotary Foundation matched this funding    --        $21,669
After approval of the project by the Rotary Foundation, all funds were advanced to Kampala Kolola RC in late 2020.  The equipment and diesel generator have been purchased and training of health care workers and Village Health Teams is anticipated to be completed by the end of March 2021.  By the end of February, 2021, 76 children had been born at the Centre since the beginning of the year.  Thirty-three of these births were by caesarian section. Forty-three births were normal.