COVID-19 puts strains on access to Obstetric services – TERREWODE ED
By Daniel Edyegu
TERREWODE has joined the campaign against COVID-19 in an effort to prevent and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on maternal health and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Alice Emasu Seruyange, the executive director of TERREWODE explained that besides domestic violence in among couples, the pandemic had placed a strain on access to of obstetric care and medical services among the obstetric fistula patients.
“We appeal to the Covid-19 Task force at all levels, our leaders and the general communities to render support and care for the vulnerable members of our society. Let us not disown them in the face of difficult times. Let’s have compassion and support each other,” Emasu emphasized.
“During this period, we will avail Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital (TWCH) ambulance and field van to support the work of the districts COVID-19 Task Force. This essential 24/7 ambulance service will help prevent childbirth injuries and maternal mortality in Uganda until this emergency passes.
“We will also allow the use of our toll free line 0800112110 for 24 hours and a total 15 hospital staff and social workers have been designated and are on standby to support the COVID-19 districts task Force in the regions of our operations ,” Emasu said.
The TWCH medical director, Dr. Jossephine Namugenyi explained that each ambulance will be fully equipped with a midwife and drive. Dr. Namugenyi explained that the midwife would tend to the pregnant mother just in case the labour pains intensify along the way and they need to deliver.
Uganda government recognizes TERREWODE
By Daniel Edyegu
The Uganda Government has honoured the executive director of TERREWODE, Alice Emasu Seruyange, for her tireless efforts in enhancing maternal health and the rights of women and girls in the country.
Emasu was among the 84 recipients nationwide of the Golden Jubilee medals during the country’s celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day celebrations in Mbale district, eastern Uganda.
“I Thank God and all the staff and partners of TERREWODE for this grateful achievement. This award is an inspiration to all of us to do more in ensuring a better wellbeing for the women and girls in our communities” Emasu said.
The Golden Jubilee awards are given to individuals in recognition of outstanding performance I various spheres for the country.
The awards come shortly after the commissioning of Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital (TWCH), a specialized fistula hospital and subsidiary of TERREWODE in August last year.
Terrewode Hospital gets new chief nurse
Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital (TWCH) has recruited the chief nurse and three other nurses for the specialized health facility.
Rhoda Auma replaces Elizabeth Atiang who joined the Ministry of Health earlier last year. During the interim, Agnes Amidiong, the deputy chief nurse, has been acting as the chief nurse.
“I have served women with obstetric fistula and child birth injuries before. But this’s my first time to serve in a specialist facility for the condition. Nursing is a calling. I’m excited to be offered an opportunity to render quality nursing and administrative services to specialized hospital,” Auma observed.
Auma brings in a wealth of experience to the TERREWODE medical and programs team. She has previously served as the ward in-charge at Matany hospital, a missionary founded hospital in Moroto district located in north eastern Uganda and a clinical instructor at Alice Anume memorial school.
Solidarity group builds on skills from reintegration training
As a survivor of fistula and chairperson of the 35-member Agoltom solidarity group in Omatenga sub county, Kumi district, Imacculate Alupo strives to ensure each person under her wings earns a modest livelihood.
With the basic hands on skills and entrepreneurial knowledge acquired during the reintegration training at TERREWODE reintegration centre at the organization’s headquarters in Soroti district in November last year, Alupo explains that the group is spreading the skills.
“We learnt skills on tailoring, making liquid soap, kitchen gardening and making bar soap out of goat’s milk and general knowledge on reproductive health and obstetric fistula. We currently make hand-sewn clothes because we haven’t yet acquired sewing machines. We do group savings and lending amongst ourselves. Besides, we formed a drama group that performs in community occasions to increase awareness on fistula,” Alupo explains.
Solidarity groups comprise survivors of fistula and normal women and men within a community. Because patients and survivors of fistula are often ostracized, supporting creation of solidarity groups by TERREWODE is a strategy to cultivate community acceptance of both fistula survivors and patients. TERREWODE has over 25 solidarity groups in Uganda.
TERREWODE empowers staff on the anti COVID-19 measure
Amidst the steadily rising global cases of the novel coronavirus cases, TERREWODE has taken bold steps to ensure safety and awareness of its staff about the pandemic.
The organization has installed hand-sanitizers at all major entry points to the organization and availed each employee with a portable hand sanitizer to move with.
During a general staff meeting to share about the pandemic at TERREWODE headquarters in Soroti district, Dr. Josephine Namugenyi, stressed the need for vigilance and observation of proper sanitation to avoid contracting the disease.
“Be vigilant, keep your hands clean and avoid handshakes. The WHO declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. The fact that scientists have not yet discovered medicine or avaccine for the disease is even the more reason you need to be so vigilant,” Namugenyi explained.
Uganda has recorded a total of 53 cases of coronavirus out of which the while the Ministry of Health has declared three patients cured. There case of death yet from the disease.
TERREWODE concludes creation of policy document for the hospital
TERREWODE has concluded the formulation and approval of policy documents for the parent TERREWODE and Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital (TWCH).
A joint team of experienced technical personnel, survivors of fistula, members of TERREWODE parent board and Governors of TWCH immensely contributed towards the formulation of the documents at various stages.
The documents include the Patient’s Charter, the Finance and Accounting Policy Manual and the Human Resources Policy and Procedures Manual. Other working documents the team formulated include the Standard Operating Procedures for and the Prevention and Control Guidelines for TWCH.
Dr. Jacinto Igbea Amandua, the chairperson Board of Governors at TWCH explained that the policy documents are relevant for the legitimate existence and guiding of daily operations at TERREWODE and TWCH.
“These documents are standard requirements by the Ministry of health and the Uganda Government. They serve as a point of reference in day-to-day operations of both the parent organization and hospital. Without them, the organization cannot exist,” Amadua stressed.