Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) Spirited Women employee group has donated a universal anesthesia machine to Mayuge Health Centre IV. This donation is part of the corporate society of safe motherhood campaign, spearheaded by Stanbic Bank, which seeks to support and build awareness for maternal health, providing hospital equipment to select health facilities and donating mama kits for the welfare of mothers in underserved hospitals. UBL Spirited Women network is an employee resource group within UBL established to engage, retain and develop female employees in the business, providing them with a platform to thrive and make an impact.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Ministry of Health offices, Juliana Kagwa, Uganda Breweries Limited Corporate Relations Director, thanked the medical doctors at the health center for their dedication towards providing quality antenatal care for all the expectant mothers that come to the facility. She also applauded the midwives for their unwavering commitment to helping mothers in labor have a safe delivery. She called upon Ugandans to prioritize maternal health in all spheres of influence.
“As women at UBL, donating this maternal health equipment offers us an opportunity to support women in Uganda and make an impact in society, which also contributes to the broader UBL agenda on promoting inclusion and diversity under our Society 2030 sustainability strategy,” said Kagwa.
According to the Uganda Health and Demographic Survey, maternal mortality reduced from 418 per 100,000 live births deaths in 2006 to 336 per 100,000 in 2016. Even then, some 6,000 women and adolescent girls still die every year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman or girl who dies, an estimated 20 or 30 suffer injuries, infections, or life-long disabilities, including obstetric fistula. According to UNFPA, providing the recommended level of maternal health care would cut maternal deaths by approximately two-thirds.
The UBL Spirited Women network comprises 147 female staff in UBL who are dedicated to creating and strengthing connections, supporting each other in career planning and personal development, as well as make an impact by raising awareness on various health topics. Spirited Women also take part in other initiatives which support other women in the communities in which UBL operates and beyond.
Under Uganda Breweries’ ‘Society 2030 Spirit of Progress Agenda’, UBL continues to champion inclusion and diversity throughout its value chain to see that women have equal opportunities in the workspace. The brewery rolled out an apprentice program for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to shift the gender representation within the sector. This program aims to absorb 10 of the 30 trainees every year. At the most senior level, the board is made up of 44% women, and their goal is to have their senior leadership team 50% female by 2030. The brewery was also the first corporate company in Uganda to provide six months of Maternity Leave, fully paid to its female employees.
“We celebrate corporates like UBL for being businesses with a purpose. They find needs in the communities and utilize their resources to address them, said Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.
“We thank UBL for the generous donation we’ve received today. It brings us so much joy and confidence to take care of mothers experiencing labour at the facility. I believe that mothers are now more confident to come and deliver from this facility, unlike when some mothers opted to travel to Kampala, where such services were readily available. We are now more equipped to handle complicated cases for mothers who will be giving birth through C-section,” said Dr. Sedawula Mike, Senior Medical Officer, Mayuge Health Centre IV.
The universal anesthesia machine has been uniquely designed with a monitor, vaporizer & ventilator. It can work both manually and automatically with a 6-hour backup in case of any power outage. The machine also has a seamless transition to room air when compressed oxygen is unavailable.
UBL has partnered with Stanbic on other initiatives such as the ROOTs Tree Planting campaign, Taasa Obutonde plastics management campaign and currently working together on pioneering a Plastics Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program in Uganda.