ARUA CITY. The Bank of Uganda has handed over the renovated maternity ward and a patients’ waiting shed at Aiivuni health centre III in Ayivu West Division to Arua city authorities.

The gesture is part of the central bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility to promote child and maternal health care in Uganda.

The handover is as a result of an initiative by Bank of Uganda that began in 2016 as part of activities to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

The funding is from a Charity Walk that was organised by the bank to raise awareness about maternal and child healthcare in districts where bank of Uganda’s branches are located.

In the process of renovation, the maternity ward was connected to solar power and a rain-water harvesting system as the two are among the most vital needs in a maternity ward.

Other items donated include 3 delivery beds, 5 drip stands, 1 suction pump, an oxygen cylinder, 4 hand washing apparatuses, 50 face shields, 5 litres of ultrasound gel, a delivery instrument set, 25 boxes of surgical gloves and 1 non-electric autoclave, among others.

During the handover ceremony, Ms Judy Obitre Gama, a board member of Bank of Uganda said the initiative by the bank in the health sector is to bridge gaps in child-maternal health care across Uganda.

“Bank of Uganda has been promoting child and maternal health care in the districts where the bank has branches. No mother or baby should face complications and this is bank of Uganda’s attempt to bridge gaps in child and maternal health care by making sure that the health service delivery in this country improves”, she said.

Bank secretary for Bank of Uganda, Ms Suzan Kanyemibwa said the central bank does not only concentrate on micro-economic issues, but also supports communities through corporate social responsibilities in Uganda’s health sector.

She thanked leaders of Arua district for supporting the bank of Uganda in the process of coming up with the project from 2018.

 Secretary for Bank of UgandaBank secretary for Bank of Uganda, Ms Suzan Kanyemibwa.

“You will bear with me that most of us know bank of Uganda because of its economic policy mandate that includes; managing the exchange rate and regulating the financial sector and I want to assure you that bank of Uganda does not only look into matters of micro-economic issues, but it also has a human face through corporate social responsibility, especially the support of child and maternal health care” Kanyemibwa explained.

The in charge of Aiivuni health centre III, Mr Jimmy Etedra disclosed that the improved child and maternal health care in the health centre has led to an increased number of clients which has also exposed the manpower gap in the facility. The centre depends on only two midwives instead of three.

The average number of deliveries rose from 40 in previous months to about 70 in September while the number of children received for vaccination has also rose to about 200 per month according to statistics.

Ayivu county Member of parliament, Mr Bernard Atiku said intervention by Bank of Uganda has addressed challenges that women face while accessing maternal services to either Arua Regional referral hospital or Adumi health centre IV that are far from people in Aiivuni sub county.

Meanwhile, Arua district woman MP, Osoru Maureen emphasized on the need to upgrade Aiivuni health centre III into a health centre four status because of the population it services both locally and from Democratic republic of Congo.