Pregnancy and breastfeeding are some of the most challenging stages in the lifetime of any woman. However, the situation is far different in the case of vulnerable mothers living in less privileged communities.
Reach Out Mbuya with support from the Mennonite Central Committee has over the past two years geared up efforts to improve the lives of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in the communities of Kinnawataka, Mbuya and Banda. Mothers are provided with sensitization on sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, antenatal and post-natal care and financial support. In addition to providing a mama kit that contains cotton wool, soap and other items, ROM staff train the mothers on proper feeding; how to prepare a meal with a balanced diet, washing hands after using the toilet, caring for self and babies after delivery and information on gender-based violence. The pregnant mothers are also given some money for transport fare to hospital at the time of delivery.
In September, a team from MCC led by Obbo Fred were on a field visit to the community and homes of some of these mothers on the program. It was rewarding listening to the mothers testify how ROM has played a great role in improving theirs and the lives of their babies.
Most of them being younger mothers, the proud women narrated and boasted about the items and knowledge they have acquired from the program. This and more, they say had never been got anywhere in their lives.
|“I am very happy for what ROM is doing in my life. I received a mama kit, soap and cotton wool. ROM even took me for a scan free of charge. That would not be possible for me in normal circumstances.” Said one of the mothers.|
Salome Ajang, who has been on the program since 2021 said, “Before I joined ROM, I would never go for any antenatal care or any other medical checkup. Today, I have been taught that this is very important, especially during pregnancy. Recently, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis B and ROM referred me to Mulago Hospital. Because this treatment is very important, my husband knows about it and he also accompanies me to hospital whenever I have an appointment.”
ROM is committed to continued support for pregnant and lactating mothers with mother and child care services, until even the most disadvantaged have access to standard care.
|Mr. Obbo Fred (center) from MCC talks to one of the mothers during the visit in the community. Looking on are other ROM staff.|