All roads lead to Masindi this Saturday (21st October) as Airtel Uganda continues on its mission to provide health care and health information to less fortunate Ugandans across the country.
In fulfilment of the health pillar of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the telco holds regional health camps every year. This year alone, residents in Kampala and Kisoro districts have benefitted from the free medical care outreaches that the company is currently holding every quarter.
In partnership with Hinds Feet Project Uganda various medical practitioners and health institutions such as Red Cross, Cancer Institute, Doctor Agrawal, Re-pad, Maristopes, Uniliver, District health centers etc among others have volunteered their services and medical personnel to participate in the cause and treat thousands of Ugandans across the country with free diagnosis, treatment and referrals to major hospitals. The health camps have also dedicated time to educating Ugandans on different topics such as HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, nutrition, prevention of communicable & infectious diseases among others.
Commenting about the upcoming health camp, Mrs. Charity Bukenya, Airtel Uganda’s CSR Manager said Health is a pertinent issue in our country and information is vital key in formulating our behavior and health choices; Airtel thus comes in to support the work of the Government and other health practitioners, not only make this information accessible, but also to bring the doctors closer to where there is a shortage of health information as well as evidence of health challenges among the people.
“Research shows that Masindi still has a high prevalence of infectious and communicable diseases and we would like to, not only treat these diseases, but also teach the residents how to stay healthy,” she commented, adding that Airtel will also give out clothes to the needy.
“As part of the camp, we shall also offer minor surgeries, dental care, health and nutrition, re-pad project that involves boys alongside the girls learning how to make the pads and help the girls stay in school through avoiding stigmatization, there will be blood donation, a maternal health program, counseling, treatment of communicable diseases, First Aid and Primary Health Care information,” Bukenya added, noting that since October is cancer month, people will be screened for Cervical, Breast, Prostate Cancer and other abnormal growths that may be of concern.
According to the District Health Office, there have been some efforts to improve the health situations; however, the health status of the population of Masindi is still poor. A high prevalence of infectious and communicable diseases and Malnutrition among the general population especially in children under 5 still contributes to a heavy disease burden. Malaria is the major disease in the District with morbidity at 37% in 2005/06, followed by coughs (17%), intestinal worms (6%), and skin infections (4%); as provided by our research partners Hinds Feet Project Uganda.
Other environmental health issues include acute diarrhea affecting 2.6% of the population, pneumonia, eye infections and genital infections.
“Our effort is a drop in the ocean that supports what several other generous organizations are doing to make conscious and deliberate steps towards fulfilling the sustainable development goal #3 which is about ensuring Good Health and Wellbeing and we at Airtel know Together We Can,” Bukenya concluded.