BY CABRIE KEARNS, PARTNERSHIPS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, ADARA DEVELOPMENT
We see time and time again that success in one area of development can create a new set of challenges. Over the past 17 years, Adara has been incredibly successful in growing maternal, infant and child health programmes in Central Uganda. In the past decade alone, admissions to the maternity ward and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Kiwoko Hospital have doubled. Today, these two wards make up 45% of all admissions at the hospital.
More and more people are seeking support from the hospital due to its high quality reputation and the increasing awareness in the community around the life-saving benefits of skilled attendants to support pregnancy and delivery.
The change in behaviour is a massive shift, and we are now seeing more women and babies surviving today than a decade ago due to these services.
However, as demand for services grow, the hospital’s ability to serve patients stretches beyond capacity. The more women and babies seeking care at the hospital, the greater the number of staff, equipment and space needed to treat them. With the patient numbers growing so substantially, the resources at Kiwoko Hospital have been stretched to the limit, and the hospital is in desperate need of more staff to provide critical care. However, their biggest barrier in doing so is actually accommodation where nurses and medical staff can stay.
Being based in a low-resource rural setting, Kiwoko Hospital is required to accommodate its professional staff, many of whom move from all over the country to work at this facility. Onsite accommodation is also a safety measure for staff that are rostered on at night, or are called to the hospital in the late evening.
That is why we are incredibly excited to be partnering with the 30/30 Project and Construction for Change to address this barrier to critical health care. Together, we will build a 15 unit nurses accommodation to provide a desperately needed resource, helping the hospital maintain a high quality of service as the patient numbers increase.
As an organisation, Construction for Change build infrastructure to build opportunity. From schools to medical facilities to community buildings that house vocational training, Construction for Change have made it their mission to provide this critical piece to the development puzzle. Together, we are excited to be improving access to health care for so many in Central Uganda.
The new housing facility will enable the hospital to employ 15 more maternity and NICU nurses. This number might sound small to some, but if you consider that these nurses provide lifesaving care and support to thousands of mothers and babies each year, you can see how critical these health care professionals are to the delivery of service. These nurses are the ones who deliver new babies, care for mom’s who’ve had caesarean sections, provide vaccinations, follow up mums and newborn babies, resuscitate newborns, care for the tiniest premature and sick newborns and save countless lives each year.
Adequate nurses are a critical necessity to providing comprehensive and safe care and are the backbone to sustainable healthcare facilities. It is a great pleasure to be partnering with an organisation like the 30/30 Project and Construction for Change who recognises this need and is dedicated to improving access to health care through construction of facilities.
I have recently been working from our Seattle office, and our team here has been able to meet with the 30/30 Project and Construction for Change teams who are also based here in Washington State. I have been incredibly inspired by their enthusiasm and support of our work, and it is extremely exciting to come together in this new partnership to make a big impact from the city of Seattle to the rural Ugandan bush.
Stay tuned for construction updates during 2016 as the building gets underway and new staff are hired.