ARUA. Lancet laboratories, an international diagnostic centre with branches across Africa has donated an assortment of items to Arua regional referral hospital maternity ward.

The items delivered on Friday include Mama Kits, sanitary pads, laundry soap among others. Another set of items is expected to be given to the places of worship to aid in hand washing and ultimate prevention of COVID-19.

“The donations have come timely in the context of COVID-19 because during this period, every family is actually grappling for survival” Ms Suzan Tabu, the principal senior nursing officer, Arua regional referral hospital said while receiving the items.

She said the referral hospital is unable to give most of the items to the patients and thanked Lancet laboratories for filing the gap.

Tabu said although items like the Mama kits, a necessity for a mother before going into labour are supplied by the ministry of health through national medical store (NMS), the supplied numbers are often too small to be given to the overwhelming deliveries at the referral hospital.

The regional hospital averages over 600 deliveries per month in both the normal and caesarean sections. Many such deliveries are also referrals from lower units.

Mr John Bosco Byekwaso, the country general manager said the donation is a way of thanking the supportive populace of West Nile during their stint in the region.

The diagnostic company in association with International medical centre (IMC) set base in Arua city two years ago to extend its services to the region.

As part of the corporate social responsibility, the company also organized a three days free health camp for the public at their centre at Arua hill.

Ms ApioMr Byekwaso thanked by Ms Apio as he speaks to the press (PHOTO BY RIMILIAH AMANDU)

Ms Sheila Aboth, the sales and marketing manager IMC said despite a slow start to operations during their set up, the West Nile community has embraced their services over time.

“We always do this in other 18 IMC centres and its one way of appreciating the community for supporting us, much as we are in the health sector and treat people, we are for profit and it’s the community keeping us here so once in a while on a day like this, we give back to them to appreciate their support”, she said

However, Ms Immaculate Apio, the head of business development LANCET laboratories said they intend to extend the helping hand to Ediofe health centre III towards the cause of buying an ambulance.

The move to buy an ambulance for the health centre was started after the heroic acts of Nurse Doris Okudinia who wheeled a patient from the health centre to the regional hospital.

Although she was bitterly condemned by some district authorities, Okudinia received overwhelming public praise and was named nurse of the year by the Uganda nurses and midwives council.

She also received a scholarship to upgrade as well as a visit by the minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, who described Okudinia as a hero.

Ms Grace Deboru, the senior nursing officer in charge of antenatal services at Arua regional hospital said many mothers who come to the hospital cannot afford Mama Kits and yet the few that are given by the government easily get finished.

IMCA woman is attended during the free health camp (PHOTO BY RIMILIAH AMANDU)