MTN Uganda Foundation last week donated hospital equipment to Oriajin Hospital based in Arua as part of its Access to Health Care initiative project.
The donation will benefit hundreds of patients from the West Nile region and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo who frequent one of Northern Uganda’s busiest public hospitals.
During the handover ceremony, the 20 hospital beds, 20 hospital mattresses, 20 hospital blankets and 20 mosquito nets were received by officials from Orijuan Hospital.
The handover is part of various corporate social responsibility efforts MTN Uganda has carried out through the MTN Uganda Foundation.
MTN Foundations UGX 500m Access to Health Initiative CSR project aims to impact needy hospitals across the country.
Speaking at the event, MTN Uganda’s Senior Manager Corporate Affairs, Ms. Justina Ntabgoba was delighted with the work done by Oriajin Hospital in provision of quality health care in Arua since its inception in 1984.
“We are happy to see that Oriajin Hospital is playing a huge role in the delivery of health and medical services to thousands of people in the West Nile region. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “good health and well-being” which targets “access to quality essential health-care services” is an essential part of the Sustainable Development Goals” said Ms. Ntabgoba.
Adding, “This donation is our way of encouraging the management and staff of Orijuan Hospital that your work is very important; you touch lives every day and may our contribution today be a boost to your work.”
MTN Uganda Foundation Manager Mr. Bryan Mbaasa said that the donation was a small gesture in appreciation of this hard work with the hope that more lives will be impacted.
“Our CSR programme Access to Health Initiative aims at providing hospital equipment to various needy but strategic hospitals across Uganda such as Orijuan Hospital. Access to Health Initiative was built on the premise that access to hospital equipment is essential in ensuring quality healthcare for Ugandans,” he said.
On hand from MTN Uganda was the MTN Foundation staff including its Portfolio Manager Mr. Nelson Munyanda accompanied by regional staff of the telecom company led bby the RBM James Ndyamuhaki. MTN Foundation was impressed by the level of commitment by the management and staff of Orijuan Hospital.
MTN sponsored Onduparaka Football Club, based in Arua, was on hand to witness the ceremony. The Club players were led by Robert Ajiku who commended MTN for its generosity for Ugandans out of the central region. “We commend MTN for being a good corporate citizen. Your sponsorship of our football club and your return to Arua to ensure that one of our key hospitals efficiently delivers its services is highly appreciated. As OFC, we remain your proud ambassadors in West Nile.”
Low bed capacity in health centers results in people sleeping on the floor, which is often uncomfortable and below the minimum standards for health care. According to a 2012 report from Human Rights Network Uganda (HURINET-U) on the state of regional referral hospitals in Uganda, most facilities and equipment in these hospitals countrywide are in a state of disrepair. If it was another country, like the USA, hospitals would not have found any scarcity in equipment that could be used to cure people. Even a relatively lower-budget hospital would be able to find C-Arm Rentals and other such equipment for rent in case of serious instances. However, the same cannot be said about Uganda. Here, the bed capacity in hospitals and health centers is still low, resulting in overcrowding and poor-quality care of inpatients.
Arua District Health Officer Dr. Anguzu was represented by Medicines and Supplies Inventory Manager, Margaret Bayoru as the Chief Guest. Dr. Bayoru noted that MTN’s donation was timely and the first in the region.
“MTN’s donation will undoubtedly boost service delivery at Oriajin and the community. As you may have noticed, we have been grappling with poor facilities to host our patients and doctors’ accommodation for a long while now. The level of morale has been noticeably low in the past, but this is starting to look up now. If it is not too much to ask, consider improving transportation in the area by donating an ambulance to this community.’
Dr. Bayoru decried the dependence of the residents on traditional healers and encouraged them all to adopt proactive health seeking behavior at the established hospitals. She pledged the District’s support to all donors.
The MTN Foundation Access to Health Initiative is a UGX 500m support program aimed at improving the quality of health care in Uganda. This is in line with Goal 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that aims to achieve “Good Health and Well-Being” for all.
The MTN Uganda Foundation Access to Health Initiative (AHI) will see 500 hospital beds, 500 mattresses, 500 blankets and 500 nets be given out to hospitals around the country through the Ministry of Health. At the moment, 230 beds, mattresses, blankets and nets have been delivered so far. The next hospital that will benefit from MTN Uganda’s Foundation Access to Health Initiative will be the Uganda Military Police Health Unit in Makindye, Central Region of Uganda.