PIC: AWARE-Uganda's programme co-ordinator Lopote Samson after recieving the award in Kampala recently.(Courtesy photo)
KAABONG - Arguably the first and only maternity waiting house of its kind in the country, the Kaabong-based centre scooped the social innovative health award from Makerere School of Public Health.
The outstanding social innovation award under the school's social innovation in health initiative programme supported by the World Health Organisation recognised the maternity centre as an excellent model of social innovation in health that enables the delivery of more inclusive, effective and affordable health services to the community.
"This commends the project innovators and implementers for improving the health, wellbeing and livelihood of women and girls in Karamoja, through provision of healthcare, agricultural business skills, human rights education and protection from violence and discrimination." reads the award.
Grace Loumo, the founder and executive director of AWARE-Uganda, the organisation that runs the centre featured in the New Vision during the month of April in a campaign to celebrate women and community-based organisations transforming the lives of women and girls in their communities.
Some of the women at the centre
In the earlier interview with New Vision, Loumo explained that most mothers were living further than the recommended 5km distance from a health facility.
"Many would never make it to the hospital. For others, the hospital was never an option," she said.
At the facility, the mothers are able to go for antenatal check-ups at Kaabong Hospital, which is just 300m away. The centre also has a stay-in nurse, who checks on the mothers.
At the centre, the mothers also have access to counsellors that take care of their mental and psychological health.
With a team of 100 trained home-based care givers currently, AWARE-Uganda, according to Loumo, has over the years reached out to communities with messages on HIV/AIDS.
Every year, over 350 women lose their lives while giving life in Uganda. The trend is largely attributed to the three delays; delay in deciding to seek appropriate medical care, delay in reaching an appropriate obstetric facility; and delay receiving adequate care at the facility is worse in economically-deprived communities.