Enhancing Healthcare Access in Rural Uganda

by | Jun 14, 2024 | Health and Wholeness, ShiftHappens

Location: UGANDA

Beneficiaries: Low-income mothers and children

The Project

Infants’ Health Foundation, under the visionary leadership of Ms. Sylivia Kyomuhendo, has been implementing a comprehensive project titled “No mother and child should get sick and die just because they are poor or because they live far from health facilities.” This initiative, which was awarded a seed grant by The Pollination Project in 2022, focuses on improving maternal and child healthcare access in remote and underserved areas of Uganda. Through monthly outreach clinics, motorcycle ambulance services, community dialogue meetings, and robust partnerships, the project has made remarkable progress in overcoming healthcare barriers faced by low-income mothers and children.

The outreach clinics provide essential services including antenatal care, vaccinations, postnatal check-ups, and emergency transport for pregnant mothers, significantly improving healthcare access in areas where facilities are scarce. Motorcycle ambulances have been crucial in navigating impassable roads, ensuring timely healthcare delivery. Community dialogue meetings educate and empower locals on positive pregnancy and child-rearing practices, fostering a culture of health and well-being. Strong partnerships with the District Health Department, schools, and community groups have enhanced the sustainability and impact of the project.

The Impact of the Seed Grant

The seed grant from The Pollination Project (TPP) has been very important for the Infants’ Health Foundation, propelling the project to new heights and profoundly impacting the lives of those in need. Under the dedicated leadership of Ms. Sylivia Kyomuhendo, the grant enabled the project to directly serve approximately 6,000 individuals, including low-income mothers, pregnant women, new mothers, their partners, and children aged 0-5 years in the remote villages of Eastern Uganda, including Namayingo district. By raising awareness, promoting positive health practices, and building community resilience against preventable health issues, the project indirectly touched countless more lives.

This crucial support facilitated the establishment of monthly outreach clinics, delivering essential maternal and child healthcare services to those who would otherwise have limited access. The grant also provided safe emergency transport to health facilities during labor, ensuring that mothers and their babies received timely and life-saving care. These efforts resulted in a significant increase in antenatal check-ups, health facility births, and postnatal check-ups, contributing to improved health outcomes and reduced maternal and child mortality rates in the served communities.

The impact of the grant extended beyond service delivery. It enabled the procurement of vital resources such as a private maternity tent, maternity bed, weighing scale, outreach bicycles, and other necessary supplies, vastly improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare services. Additionally, the grant supported community engagement activities and fostered strong partnerships with stakeholders, ensuring the project’s sustainability and long-term impact beyond the grant period.

Since receiving the TPP grant, the project has not only flourished but also gained significant recognition and success. The foundation secured two medical supplies grants from Vitamin Angels, totaling UGX 400 million ($108,000), and received UGX 2,775,000 ($750) from the Sunfamily grant. Furthermore, it obtained UGX 9,600,000 ($2,594) from Namayingo district in partnership with ICELAND for WASH activities in 2023 and received UGX 53,687,000 ($14,510) from the PEPFAR Community Grant by the US Embassy. An in-kind grant of engagement kits worth UGX 2,000,000 ($540) was also received from Peace Corps in collaboration with Grassroots Soccer.

Moreover, the project’s achievements have been recognized through affiliations with prestigious organizations such as the Busoga Adolescent Health CSO Forum, Sub-Saharan Africa Congenital Anomalies Network, The Sun Family Support Awardees, PEPFAR Community Grants Awardees, and Peace Corps Volunteer Host Organizations. These affiliations underscore the impactful work of the project and its growing influence across various sectors.

The support from TPP has been more than just financial aid; it has been a catalyst for change, enabling Infants’ Health Foundation to bring hope and health to some of Uganda’s most vulnerable populations. Through unwavering dedication and strategic partnerships, the foundation continues to pave the way for a brighter and healthier future for all.

 

Health for all is imminently possible. We can together build a world where no mother and/or child die just because they are poor, or because they live too far from a health facility if we have the courage to go beyond the walls of our health care facilities.

 

The Future

Looking ahead, Infants’ Health Foundation plans to maintain its monthly outreach clinics in rural areas to ensure ongoing access to maternal and child healthcare services for low-income mothers and children. The foundation aims to strengthen the capacity of its team through training and skill development opportunities for healthcare professionals, volunteers, and community members involved in the project. Continuous monitoring and evaluation through data collection, patient feedback, and impact assessments will ensure the effectiveness of interventions and meaningful progress.

Follow them:

Web: https://infanthealthfoundation.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InfantsHealthFoundation/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/infantshealthfoundation/
X: https://x.com/IHF_Uganda/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/infantshealthfoundation/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2PCTMOzQgLEwQiLP-TXiyg

Ms. Sylivia Kyomuhendo

Ms. Sylivia Kyomuhendo, founder and director of Infants’ Health Foundation, holds a Master’s in Public Health from Busitema University and a First-class bachelor’s degree in Community Based Rehabilitation from Kyambogo University. She is a distinguished leader and advocate for maternal and child health, recognized as a 2022 Commonwealth Youth Awards finalist for the African region, a 2022 SunFamily Support Grant winner, a 2022 One Young World Ambassador, and a 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Fellow, among other accolades. Her unwavering belief that health is a human right drives her mission to ensure that no one gets sick and dies because they are poor or live far from health facilities.

“On behalf of the Infants’ Health Foundation, I would like to express our gratitude to The Pollination Project (TPP) for their invaluable support and belief in our project. The grant provided by TPP has been instrumental in enabling us to reach out to vulnerable communities and make a tangible difference in the lives of mothers and children in need. Through our partnership with TPP, we have been able to conduct monthly outreach clinics, provide essential healthcare services, and mobilize resources to ensure safe and timely access to medical care, particularly for those living in remote areas with limited healthcare infrastructure. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of TPP’s network of changemakers and look forward to continued collaboration and growth as we work towards our shared vision of a world where healthcare is accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographical location.

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The SDG Literacy Drive 3.0 has received funding from @ThePollinationProject! 🎉
This ambitious project aims to educate 10,000 children in NIgeria, focusing on marginalized communities, about:

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✅ Climate change
✅ UN Sustainable Development Goals

Through interactive programs and resources, they're empowering young minds to understand global challenges and take action locally. 
Their mission? To cultivate a generation of informed, engaged citizens committed to building a more sustainable and equitable world for all. 💚

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