By Alice Lubwama
Plan international Uganda has donated a washing and drying machine worth 9 million shillings to the newborn intensive care unit of Kawempe regional hospital.
Handing over the equipment to the director of this hospital Dr Nehemiah Katusiime the head of programs at plan International Uganda Greg Lavender said the donation is made to reaffirm the organization commitment towards working with the Government in strengthening the health service delivery to reduce child mortality.
“We urge the facility to utilize the equipment very well to meet the goal of saving the lives of the new-born children in Uganda”. Greg said.
The Neonatal specialist at Kawempe hospital Dr Margaret Nakaketo says the machine will help them to reduce on the infections among the premature and sick babies, since mothers have been mixing baby clothes with other dirty linen.
“Infection control is paramount in the management of babies, so this machine will help us to wash and dry the clothes any time and the babies will always have clean linen.” added Nakaketo
Nakaketo also intimated that infections have been a big problem for the unit where mothers come in with all sorts of clothes which are dirty to carry in their babies but with the machine, they will be able to buy their own linen and give it to every mother.
In Uganda, 14 out of every 100 babies are born preterm and complications of premature account for about 29% of neonatal deaths.
The sustainable development goals call for the end of preventable maternal new-born and child deaths by the year 2030, but neonatal mortality remains a big problem in Uganda contributing up to 45% of overall deaths among children less than five years of age.