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Irene Gleeson maternal centre commissioned

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th July 2015 04:38 PM

KITGUM - A sh2b maternal centre in Kitgum district has been commissioned under the Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF).

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KITGUM - A sh2b maternal centre in Kitgum district has been commissioned under the Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF).

By Arnest Tumwesige

KITGUM - A sh2b maternal centre in Kitgum district has been commissioned under the Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF).

The facility that was commissioned on Saturday by Eng. Hillary Onek will basically offer subsidized services to vulnerable mothers and children.

Among the services the facility will offer are deliveries, gynecological, obstetric and care to infants of six years and below.

John Paul Kiffasi, the executive director of IGF told New Vision that the outpatient department will basically offer specialized examinations of X-ray, laboratory and ultra sound scan.

Kiffasi said the centre which is expected to start fully operating early next year, still requires Shs1.6b to have it fully fledged.

“We want to complete the construction, procure drugs, beds, ambulances and recruit enough manpower that will be trained by volunteer doctors from the USA,” Kiffasi explained.

The director said the facility was in line with Irene Gleeson’s dream of offering medical services to the most needy.

Hundreds of Kitgum residents match through the town on a fundraising drive during the celebration of Irene's life. Photo/ Arnest Tumwesige

He said through Lamwo and Kitgum districts, nurses and midwives in rural health facilities will be trained to offer similar services to those who cannot come to town.

IGF was founded in 1992 by Australian Irene Gleeson who sold her beachside home back home to offer free education, water and sanitation services to the locals in Kitgum.

Apparently, the centre has over 4,000 children attending primary education and vocational skills training at a free cost.

Beatrice Lamwaka, a Kitgum resident commended the good spirit Irene had for the people in Kitgum for the last 20 years amidst the LRA war.

Deputy speaker Oulanyah (3rd R) flanked by Golola (in glooves), and Dr. Opiyo from Canada (in dark glasses) taking part in the match in Kitgum district. Photo/Arnest Tumwesige

Jacob Oulanyah, the deputy speaker of parliament said safe motherhood is a circular programme that should not just start when a mother conceives but right from when a girl is born.

Oulanyah re-echoed that once a girl is born, she is already a mother and must be helped to attain good health, education so that she can make informed decisions.

Speaking to hundreds of people at IGF community church, the speaker said for this to be effective, it requires good health policies and enough funding.

He however critized a section of people who have chosen to the path of serial poverty yet God gave everybody the same blood, time and air to breath.

“We all have three things in common which should be used correctly to uplift ourselves. The tendency of producing children as you look at somebody else to care of them should stop,” he said.

Richard Okwera Ojara, the chairperson Kitgum town council asked government to support the facility with drugs since it had been constructed to help the locals.

Okello Oryem, the foreign affairs minister critized parents in Kitgum for not valuing the girl child which exposes them to dangerous situations like early pregnancy.

Hillary Onek, the minister for disaster preparedness while delivering the President’s message, commended the late Irene for the love she had for mankind more so in Northern Uganda.

Onek said all her contribution was supplementing on government’s programmes which could not be offered because of some gaps.

The minister, who was officiating at the second annual anniversary to celebrate Irene’s life at Bomah ground, also handed over Shs20m in cash as part of the Presidents’ contribution.

The function was headlined by a 3km match from Bomah ground to IGF centre with Onek as the chief walker, district chairpersons from Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Pader, women legislators, and Dr. Nicholas Opiyo, the New Vision columnist based in Canada.

Others who took part in the match to raise funds for the centre were Moses Golola, the Ugandan celebrated kick boxer, gospel artist Exodus who is among the pioneer beneficiaries of IGF among others.

Irene Gleeson maternal centre commissioned

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