MNCH in These Difficult Times of COVID-19; Every Effort Counts

Assoc. Prof. Peter Waiswa-Team Leader, Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH)

The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading around the world, I acknowledge that our lives have been changed drastically and on a very short notice. Many of us have received different emails sharing precautions in retort to this predicament. As one of the regional maternal newborn and child health hubs in Africa, with programs and studies reaching out to the vulnerable mothers, the center is not any different we are all affected.

The greatest fear is around how the vulnerable communities will be more unadorned. And in sub-Saharan Africa the pandemic is just beginning but it’s rapid spread is likely to create a continental disaster that requires a wide humanitarian focus. Globally, most especially LMICs cases have been reported, and Uganda where the Center is hosted is reporting initial cases (33) not mention the country’s health systems are in a fragile state meaning they will be hit especially vulnerable groups like the mothers and their children. It is very imperative that we help them prepare now for this raving disaster.

Below are some highlights of the work the center is doing to support vulnerable mothers especially those with new borns and expectant to prevent the spread of COVID 19, and ensure that we, as advocates of MNH prevail;

  • Before the lockdown we trained VHTs in Busoga region in essential preventative measures in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines and, around the world, the village health teams will raise awareness of how to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities.

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