Pregnant Girls attend RHU's Community Child Care Dialogue at RHU Luuka Office in march 2022

Schools in Uganda were closed for close to 2 years followed by extreme poverty, mental health challenges, extended lock-downs, and teenage pregnancies. Naigaga Shamim, 16 years old and a resident of Kirimwa A village in Luuka District conceived for the first time. At school, Shamim was a source of hope, a leader, and a very obedient student and at home, the hopes of the first doctor in the family raged on. Shamim could not return to school when the schools eventually opened because she was carrying her first pregnancy, abandoned by both her parents (out of disappointment) and the man who got her pregnant. Her hope for survival and a successful pre and neonatal period was in the health center about 9.5KMs away.

Bukoova Health center provides antenatal services to more than 200,000 people in the area but many people may require to move more than 7Kms to get here. The available means of transport are bicycles and boda bodas. Antenatal utilities are unavailable and many women are required to carry majority of these utilities needed during pregnancy and at deliveries. Majority of the Women in Eastern Uganda cannot afford mama kits, amidst other requirements necessary during pregnancy and they may not be able to move to facilities for deliveries because of the distances.

Our continued maternal health support services have brought hope to patients like Shamim by bringing prenatal utilities closer and equipping surrounding health facilities with maternal and newborn health support services. Pregnant girls and teenage moms can now get resources, psycho-social support and training and RHU offices in Eastern Uganda. Our continued relationship with public facilities like Ikumbya Health center III among others is crucial in ensuring that clinical maternal care services are accessible to all the girls.

We continue to work with health facilities across the country through donating medical supplies to support maternal health services and training healthcare services providers on continued care for teenage moms among other key subjects. Our Neonatal sepsis project is directly addressing newborn’s health and continuing monitoring and assessment of newborns supported by RHU through their 90th day.