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Hospitals, Schools Get 3,200 Litres Of Milk Fresh Dairy Donation

Fresh Dairy has donated over 3,200 litres of milk in total to four (4) less privileged communities to include: Uganda Burns and Plastic Surgery Institute – Kiruddu Mulago hospital, Bless a Child Foundation, Butabika hospital and Ntinda School for the Deaf.

This was in a bid to give back to the communities in which Fresh Dairy operates, while helping to boost the health and nutrition of the recipients who are in dare need of it.

Marketing Manager, Brookside Limited, the producers of Fresh Dairy products - Vincent Omoth said, ‘As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, Fresh Dairy believes in continuously giving back healthy and nutritious products to the communities in which we operate. This ensures that even the less privileged get an opportunity to enjoy our products. For this reason, we have donated over 3,200 litres of milk over the past 1 week alone to 4 less privileged communities.’

Uganda Burns and Plastic Surgery Institute looks after over 500 burns patients every year of which 60 percent are children aged 5 years and below. Dr. Namatovu Christine of UBPSI said that most of the burns patients are children below the age of 5 years who are mainly burnt by hot water/food from unprotected cooking areas. She further noted that these children have high nutritional needs of which milk is key. She applauded Fresh Dairy, and noted that their patients stay in the Ward from 3 weeks to even more than 6 months.

Bless a Child Foundation, which is a non-profit organization provides care support services to children from the ages of 0 – 12 years suffering from Paediatric cancer and related infections. Brian Walusimbi, Founder and Executive Director – Bless a Child Foundation thanked Fresh Dairy for the milk donation which will go a long way in supplementing the diet of their Paediatric cancer patients.

Butabika hospital is a Government hospital that offers medical access for mental health, psychiatric social work services, occupational therapy, psychology unit and private services. Dr. Basangwa David, Executive Director - Butabika hospital said, ‘At Butabika hospital, we’re registering an increasing number of patients that are reporting for services with an average of between 800 and 850 patients at any one time, with 100 – 200 being outpatients. All these patients require high nutritional boosts because of the medication that they are on. ‘We therefore thank Fresh Dairy for the great nutritional boost by donating milk to us.

The Ntinda School for the Deaf is a Government aided Primary School that looks after deaf children with multiple disabilities. The school's primary task is to cater for the education, interests and special needs of deaf children in Uganda. The school has over 200 children aged between 4 years to 14 years, and often remains their place of solace even after they complete school. Mr Anguyo Elias, a teacher at the school thanked Fresh Dairy for the good gesture and acknowledged that it is such joint efforts that go along-way in supporting the deaf children under their care.

Omoth concluded that Fresh Dairy will continue giving back to various communities in Uganda, as a way of saying thank you for all the support from the wider general public.

 

AfDB Approves $1m Grant For Uganda To Stem Ebola Transmission

The African Development Bank has released a $1 million grant to Uganda to help the East African country tackle an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

The grant to support Uganda’s National Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) Preparedness and Response Plan, was approved in January. Funds have been disbursed through the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the implementing agency. 

The grant follows a request by the Government of Uganda to the African Development Bank to support the country’s efforts in containing the Ebola scourge that has so far killed three people in the East African nation. The Bank is working with Uganda’s Ministry of Health, and the WHO, a specialized agency of the United Nations on health-related issues.

The agreement was signed by the Bank’s Uganda Country Manager, Kennedy Mbekeani,  Uganda’s Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, and Dr. Rebecca Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.

The funds will be used for the management of suspected and confirmed EVD cases in Uganda, including the procurement and distribution of medical supplies, and care of people affected by Ebola. The grant will also be used to strengthen readiness and capacity at the national level and in high-risk districts, including training and emergency support. With this support, response teams will be quickly deployed and surveillance of the disease will be strengthened.

The Bank praised the Ugandan government for its vigilance, and called upon other development partners to support its efforts to stem transmission of Ebola infection and prevent new outbreaks in non-affected areas.

The Government of Uganda’s request for emergency relief assistance will help to save and protect lives, and restore the normal livelihoods and economic activity of people in 31 districts in the country. The request falls within the Bank’s revised policy guidelines and procedures for emergency relief assistance. Uganda’s Ebola response plan is aligned with the Bank’s High priority which aims to “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.”

African Leaders At AU Summit Call For Action To End Malnutrition By 2025

African countries have made progress toward eradicating malnutrition and stunting but need to do more to hit United Nations malnutrition targets by 2025. This was the main message of a meeting that took place during the 33rd African Union Summit.

Speakers at a meeting of the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) included the heads of state of Madagascar, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, national ministers of health as well as African Development Bank (AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina, head of the African Development Bank.

Leaders acknowledged the scope of the challenge but sounded a note of optimism. “We can conquer hunger in Africa,” said Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, one of five African Leaders for Nutrition champions. “I call on all our partners to continue to work with us to address hunger and malnutrition.”

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said leaders should take it a step further. “I have proposed for the AU to focus on tackling malnutrition as a theme for 2021,” he said.

Stunting has declined by eight percentage points across Africa since 2000, an advance on one of the UN’s 2025 targets. African countries have also shown strong progress toward achieving the target of 50% of the world’s children being exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. The other targets are: halting the epidemic of obesity; reducing anemia in women of reproductive age; reducing low birth weight and reducing wasting.

The ALN, a partnership of the African Union and African Development Bank, brings together heads of state, Finance Ministers and other leaders to raise awareness and accountability, and reinforce investment by African governments to end malnutrition among children.

The ALN meeting, held in Addis Ababa on Saturday, offered an opportunity to take stock of achievements ahead of the Nutrition for Growth Summit to be held in Tokyo in December. 

Adesina outlined initiatives by the Bank and African Union to reduce malnutrition, such as the Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard, which offers African leaders a snapshot of nutrition-related progress and gaps. 

During his opening remarks, Adesina emphasized the paradox of African malnutrition.

“We have 65 percent of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land. We have an abundance of freshwater and about 300 days of sunshine a year. There’s no reason for anyone to go hungry,” the Bank chief said.

The meeting also offered recommendations for governments to strengthen African nutrition outcomes: promote a multi-sectoral approach; position nutrition within food systems; and spend more to combat malnutrition.

In addition to Rajoelina, current nutrition champions are King Letsie III of Lesotho, who addressed the meeting by video; Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso; Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of Ghana; and Professor Howarth Bouis of HarvestPlus.

How Autotransfusion Device Hemafuse Will Revolutionize Blood Access Across Africa

Hemafuse, a surgical autotransfusion device, will revolutionize blood access across Africa. Hemafuse is designed to salvage and recycle whole blood from cases of internal bleeding. The device can be used in both emergencies and scheduled procedures to recover blood from where it pools inside of a patient, into a blood bag, where it is immediately available to be re-transfused back to that same patient.

Hemafuse was created for patients suffering from internal bleeding resulting from trauma, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, or for use in planned surgeries. Hemafuse can be used in cases where there is no donor blood available, and even as the preferred option over donor blood. When compared to autotransfusion, the use of donor blood comes with a higher risk of disease transfer, increased length of stay, readmissions, and other complications.

Hemafuse is now used in 10 different hospitals across Kenya. Last month, Hemafuse received an endorsement from The First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta at the launch of the Nairobi Beyond Zero Medical Safari held at Uhuru Park Nairobi on January, 25 2020. The First Lady’s Beyond Zero Kenya initiative donated Hemafuse to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to aid in the reduction of maternal deaths.

During the event, Dr. Elizabeth Wala, Programme Director for Health Systems Strengthening at Amref Health Africa in Kenya, spoke about the importance of using a high-quality device to save lives. She announced that the Kenya Pharmacy and Poison Board have approved Hemafuse.

“Blood is a matter of life and death, the impact of this device is saving lives that could have been lost due to lack of blood. Achieving [Universal Health Coverage] requires innovations for essential medicines and health technologies that save lives. Hemafuse should be part of the essential medical devices in each hospital,” she added.

Use of the device is now being rolled out in Ghana, where it has already been used to save lives in cases of ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Dr. Gerald Osei-Owusu, a Medical Officer at Tema General, has used Hemafuse in several different surgeries. After experiencing Hemafuse first hand, he says the device cuts down on cost, the time it takes to save the patient, and reduces their recovery time.

“It’s a good device, I think it’s something we should use nationally and continentally... It makes life easier, work easier, and costs less. I think it’s a good device.”

Using Hemafuse to recycle a patient’s own blood saves the donor blood that is available for other patients who are not candidates for autotransfusion. Dr. Rafia Abanga, another Medical Officer at Tema General has experienced Hemafuse first hand, “The Hemafuse is a great device, I’ve used it only twice, it was much needed and helped save a young lady’s life. I am grateful to the person who invented this,” she added.

Autotransfusion reduces the risk of infection and disease transmission because using a patient’s own blood is safer than someone else’s. Dorothy Kesewah Denkyi, a theatre nurse at Tema General, explains her experience using Hemafuse and implementing autotransfusion. “Autotransfusion is the best...It’s better than giving someone [else’s] blood to the patient. So we are encouraging autotransfusion if that is what will help out. Now that Hemafuse is here [in Ghana], we are advocating to get more in the system. Every theatre should have one, if not one, two."

Hemafuse is now available at hospitals in Kenya and Ghana, and will be coming to hospitals across Africa. 

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