The Management of Kawempe specialized national referral hospital have lauded the PR practitioners under their umbrella body, PRAU and UPDF for joining hands to assist the health facility to improve hygiene.
The gratitude was expressed by Dr Lawrence Kazibwe, the acting Deputy Director Kawempe Specialized National Referral Hospital on Saturday. This was after members of Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) and UPDF engaged in an exercise to clean up sections of the hospital complex.
Speaking from Kawempe hospital on Saturday, Brig Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson said the army was delighted to partner with PRAU to engage in this activity.
“I’m delighted that this has happened, and i would like to thank the President of PRAU. I think our mission has been very successful, we have strengthened the partnership with PRAU”
He said the initiative was also an opportunity to renew the army’s strategic relationship with the wanainchi (citizens).
“For us, where we touch the life of the wanainchi and do something better for his or her life, that is a great day. Supporting civilians has always been part of our character as a people’s army and this has been well demonstrated,” Brig Karemire said.
“We look forward to many more activities of such nature. And i hope next time we move away from Kampala to Karamoja, Gulu, Fort Portal. So that we are not just seen as Kampala people”.
He lauded the soldiers who ensure peace and security of the ordinary citizens.
During the same event, Sarah Kagingo, the President of PRAU said that through the initiative, the PR practitioners sought to give back to the community. She said Kawempe national referral hospital was singled out given the nature and number of patients it deals with.
“We learnt that this hospital provides maternal and neonatal services to our women and children, which is very critical to their wellbeing, ” said Kagingo.
“We are very happy to help better your operations by contributing to the hygiene of the hospital.”
She said that PRAU chose to partner specifically with UPDF since the Force is renowned for responding to emergencies and engaging in civil military activities especially during the army week.
Kagingo pointed out that a poor cleaning culture which mainly manifests itself in the littering of plastic bags everywhere negatively affects Uganda’s tourism potential.
She encouraged Ugandans to partake in voluntary activities and said PRAU will further the partnership with UPDF and other organizations to make a contribution to the country’s cleanliness but above of all promote the spirit of volunteerism.
Commenting on the cleaning exercise, Dr Kazibwe commended the two entities, saying the hospital is faced with a big challenge of hygiene given the volume of people it receives.
“We have a high patient load of patients – mothers and children, with some patients bringing with them over 7 other people to attend to them, ” De Kazibwe said.
“We are glad that PRAU and UPDF have heard our cry and come in to help us with the cleaning up of this hospital. I pray this continues and it is regular”.
Kawempe particularly serves mothers giving birth and those with pregnancy related complications, as well as children below the age of 18. These patients are from Kampala and surrounding areas like Wakiso, Mpigi, Mukono and Entebbe.
Dr Kazibwe said they also get referrals from Jinja, Kiboga, Masaka hospitals.
The facility handles between 200 and 300 mothers on Antenatal Care days (Tuesday to Thursday) and between 100 and 150 daily deliveries on average.
While Kawempe hospital was built to accommodate only 200 patients, the large volume of patients has stretched this capacity.
During the cleaning exercise, it was clear that the beds are limited. The waiting areas are also overwhelmed by the numbers and some patients were seen standing.
“The challenge is with the culture of patients bringing with them a whole family. This gives us an uphill task when it comes to cleaning, ” said the Acting Deputy Director of the hospital.