This year, World Health Day falls under the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.” For Brick by Brick Uganda, this is especially relevant, as the Babies And Mothers Alive (BAMA) Program works to train and support health workers in even the most remote rural areas within the Rakai and Kyotera Districts. This includes comprehensive training, support supervision and the provision of emergency supplies and equipment to save the lives of mothers and their babies.
Lwamaggwa Health Center III in the Rakai District is one such health center that has seen midwives work in deplorable conditions due to the absence of electricity and poor physical infrastructure
When travelling to take supplies to health centers, many a time the team also encounters challenges with transport especially in the rainy season. Which makes the dirt roads slippery and impassable
Many a time the mentor midwives and BAMA staff have to get support to help push the car through the road in order to proceed to the hospitals.
BAMA works with community members that are organized into Village Health Teams. After receiving training, they become BAMA Mama and Tata ambassadors who then work within the community, seeking out pregnant women, encouraging them to go for antenatal care, institutional delivery of their babies, and encouraging male involvement.
Below, Keuba Nemmy shares about his experience with BAMA
I work with the VHT in Nangoma to encourage mothers to deliver from the health center in Nangoma. Before BAMA, many of them used to go to Tanzania to a private clinic called Kakwezi which is 3km away because there were no supplies here at Nangoma. The attitude was bad and no one wanted to come here but now the supplies that BAMA brought have made my work easier because I can refer them to the center knowing that they will get help and that they will get incentives of basins and soap when they deliver from the center. They themselves talk in the community and boast about the delivery bed that they now have at Nangoma.
Below, a video of Yiga Guster also a Tata Ambassador who shares about how the BAMA program has improved the outcomes for rural women who seek medical attention in health centers.
Since the beginning of the year, our team has also created emergency boxes distributed to health centers to support midwives to effectively manage obstetric and newborn emergencies. While we are supporting mothers to travel to hospitals and health centers, many times there are shortages in medications and supplies. The emergency toolkit has basic essentials such as cotton, scissors, gloves, and drugs that midwives can utilize to support mothers who come to the facility. This is all a part of our comprehensive interventions to reduce the number of maternal and newborn deaths arising from complications of pregnancy.
We believe that each small step and every partnership goes a long way in ensuring that we reach all pregnant women everywhere in Rakai and Kyotera to ensure the maternal and newborn health of our communities.