A 22 year old pregnant woman Florence Nakamya lost her life after she was neglected by a doctor in his private clinic. This was supposed to be her second delivery.
Florence Nakamya, a resident of Takajjunge village in Mukono Municipality went into labour at 5.00 am on Saturday October 19th. Immediately, her husband Stephen Mpanga, a farmer took her to the Health Centre IV in Mukono Municipality which is Government owned.
At the health centre IV, the health workers told her to raise U Shs 250,000 for them to operate her through caesarean. The couple failed to raise the money and one doctor Christopher Bingi offered to help the couple for only U Shs 100,000 and that he would operate her from his Trinity clinic in Nasuuti village. He even reduced to U Shs 90,000. The husband managed to raise the money and the doctor took the couple to his clinic in his own car.
It was after reaching his clinic that he immediately went away and left the patient in under the care of his subordinates at the clinic. Later in the day, Florence died and the doctor later delivered the body to Mukono Hospital Church of Uganda which is also private and later went away. The health workers at Mukono Hospital Church of Uganda refused to remove the baby from the womb because there was no referral later and no ante natal card.
It was only a few hours later in the evening that the Mukono Municipality MP Hon. Betty Nambooze Bakireke called the doctor after she reached the hospital and found relatives of the deceased wailing. Betty, who had taken her daughter for treatment, wondered why doctor Bingi decided to take the deceased from government health facility to a private clinic instead of referring her to either Mulago Referral Hospital or Lugazi Hospital. The doctor came and was taken to Mukono Police station while the body was taken to Mulago Hospital to remove the baby from the womb.
IFACASU as a Non-profit organization carries out community outreaches to sensitize and create awareness about maternal health in Mukono District. Among the key issues they advocate for to all pregnant women is seeking professional health care from government health facilities. An incident like this makes people in the community lose faith in the system hence making it even harder to convince pregnant women to go to government health facilities for safe delivery. This is worsened by the financial aspect which clearly indicates that one cannot be helped unless they have paid the amount demanded at the health facilities.
While IFACASU appreciates the efforts by government to improve health service delivery in the community, there is still need for intervention in order to avoid unfortunate instances like this in the future.
In a bid to strengthen the coordination of the combination prevention approach of HIV/AIDS response in urban areas of the country, build the institutional and technical capacity of urban local governments to effectively plan and manage HIV/AIDS at the urban levels and to enhance local leadership, advocacy and commitment for sustained HIV/AIDS response in urban areas. A strategy was designed to create awareness in our communities through door to door approach in regard to sensitizing communities about HIV/AIDS education, family planning, Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT), hygiene and sanitation among others.
The trained health workers of IFACASU together with the Village Health Teams (VHTs) conducted the outreach to identify the most pressing issues in the communities resulting into the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) among others.
In this case here, the focus was mainly on Malaria, Family Planning, Safe Motherhood Pregnancy, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, Hygiene and sanitation etc. Through door to door approach, village meetings, religious gatherings and other opportunities, two teams from Integrated Family Care Support Uganda (IFACASU) went through the villages educating people. These gatherings mostly included women as it was them who had greater interest to listen unlike men who pretended to either know what was being discussed or to be too busy to spare time for such.
The key findings from the community on health related issues to be advocated for include malaria prevalence where costs of mosquito nets are too high for the low income earners who constitute the majority of people.
It was also noted that despite the government efforts to ensure adequate provision of medical facilities, most health centers either lack facilities like drugs. In some instances, patients are denied appropriate drugs or are given under dose even if some drugs may still be available in the store.
More interventions are still needed in our local communities in terms of awareness creation on health related issues. More VHTs are needed to be put on board and be equipped with skills in health awareness creation in communities.
IFACASU since inception has identified orphans and vulnerable children to support with medical care, feeding, bedding, scholastic materials, full and half bursaries in educational institutions.
The trends in HIV prevalence in Uganda according to the Ministry of Health Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey Report 2011 indicates that the overall HIV Prevalence among women and men aged 15-49 has increased from 6.4% in the 2004-05 UHSBS to 7.3%. From the age of 15-39, women have higher HIV prevalence than their male counterparts and the data reveals that 37% of Uganda Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) are HIV positive.
It is believed that most of the Commercial Sex Workers fall within this trend of age. Most of these people are school drop outs, others are widowed women and some of them are infected with HIV/AIDS. When the health community workers of Integrated Family Care Support Uganda (IFACASU) interacted with them in the process of HIV counseling and testing, condom distribution at their place of work they said “it is not our pleasure to get engaged in such kind of work, but it’s because of persistent poverty that forces us to practice such. When we get a chance to be trained in entrepreneurship skills in terms of initiating our own income generating activities/projects, we can gradually abandon this kind of work because it is very tiresome and it’s not worthy as a job, and death is always at our hands since most of our clients do not want to have protected sex with us.” Nakamatte their chairperson explained.
It is therefore against this background that IFACASU is in the process of training 50 out of 150 identified CSWs in entrepreneurship skills for purposes of giving them a better alternative of income generating activities/projects thus reducing on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Mukono District.
This training is a pilot project and it is being financed by the Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative for Community Action on AIDS at the Local Level (AMICAALL) and it will take three months at a reputable vocational training institute in Mukono Municipality. IFACASU as the leading agency of Mukono District Network of AIDS service organizations (MUDNASO) is soliciting funds totaling to 50 million Uganda shillings from well wishers, development partners in order to empower the identified and trained CSWs to initiate their own businesses and abandon commercial sex work.
IFACASU has had routine dialogues and interactions with these people since they always seek advice, collect condoms, come in for HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT), voluntary counseling and testing from the organization.
The organization is seeking to partner with individuals, development partners, national or international organizations to give a hand and further their projects and programs in communities.