IDI and Partners Revitalise Health Services in the Western Region of Uganda

Maternal mortality decreased by 30% in the four Saving Mothers districts in one year (2012-2013)

A local Ugandan newspaper, The New Vision, published an article on 14th April 2014 entitled"The Rebirth of Kagadi Hospital,” Ismael Kasooha reported that the Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) Project of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) had provided key medical personnel and equipment to Kagadi Hospital in an effort to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in Uganda. 

With an estimated 1.5 million births and 4,700 maternal deaths recorded every year in Uganda, SMGL has sought to reduce maternal mortality through a public private partnership with the governments of the United States, Norway, and Uganda and other organizations: Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Project CURE. 

With funding from US Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention, IDI is the implementing partner at Kagadi hospital and in Kibaale district while Baylor Uganda operates in Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Kyenjojo districts. Both IDI and Baylor Uganda contributed to a drop in maternal mortality ratios in the four SMGL districts by 30% in one year (2012-2013). In the same pilot phase, the proportion of expected deliveries taking place at health facilities in the SMGL districts increased from 46% to 74%.

IDI has supported health system strengthening interventions and improved the health systems of public health facilities in Kibaale district including: Kagadi Hospital, Kakumiro HCIV, Kakindo HCIV, Kibaale HCIV and Kyaterekera HCIII among many others.  These interventions include: the creation of additional space for maternity services (constructing mothers waiting sheds); building the capacity of health workers in the areas of HIV/AIDS care and support, data and M&E, pharmacy and logistics support and laboratory; strengthening of the ambulance system; implementation of innovations such as the BABIES matrix and integrated static outreaches; improving DHIS-2 reporting and the submission of logistics reports. IDI also supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and early infant diagnosis and provided the maternity wards with mattresses and blankets and provided key laboratory equipment and logistics.

Today, Kagadi Hospital, the only hospital in Kibaale district (with a bed capacity of 120), boasts a standard laboratory (CD4, Chemistry, hematology, TB diagnosis, and blood transfusion services), an Out-Patient Department, an In-Patient Department, a Drug and Supplies Store, a Children’s Ward, a Female Ward, Theatres (Major & Minor), a General Ward, a Maternity Ward, an HIV/AIDS Clinic, a functional vehicle ambulance, and medical equipment donated by IDI from Project CURE.

In Uganda, where some communities had rather lost confidence in the Uganda health system, IDI, partnering with the Uganda Ministry of Health, is thrilled to read the comments from patients and health workers at Kagadi Hospital. The patients and health workers made the following comments to The New Vision appreciating the medical services provided in part by IDI:

“Services are improving, but the staff is not enough,” said Anna Kabonesa, a patient at the hospital.

“I have been taking inmates to Kagadi Hospital for treatment for quite some time, but there has been a remarkable improvement in service delivery,” said Bruno Sembule, a prison warder at Mambugu Government Prison. 

Christine Asaba, a mother who underwent surgery at the hospital, said she was treated well and her health as well as that of her baby was okay.

“We have a good working relationship with several non-governmental organizations that have greatly helped in service delivery,” said Joram Ssali, Kibaale Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. 

“Timely ordering of drugs and instant delivery by NMS [National Medical Stores] has helped us address the challenge of drug shortages at the hospital,” said Dr. James Olowo, the medical superintendent.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, there is definitely a huge improvement in service delivery in the four SMGL districts, which has contributed to increased confidence among Ugandans in the Ugandan health system.