Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has launched the newly constructed Terrewode Women’s Hospital in Soroti, with a stern warning against involvement in child marriages.
The hospital is dedicated to treatment of women suffering from obstetric fistula, caused among others by complicated births arising from child marriages.
“I have asked His Highness the Emorimor to take the message against fistula and child marriages to his people, using the clan system,” she said.
Kadaga said the hospital’s utilities would be catered for.
“If we can support Lubowa Hospital, why can’t we do this? Parliament will do its part to ensure that the money for water and electricity Bills is provided,” she said.
The State Minister for Health, Hon Sarah Opendi, painted a dark picture about the rising cases of fistula in the country.
We still have a lot of work to do; usually, we get 1,900 cases of fistula every year. We have about 85,000 women suffering from fistula in the country,” she said.
The hospital is the effort of Terrewode, a women’s health advocacy organization, headed by its Executive Director, Alice Emasu Sseruyange.
“I was a little girl when I began this project; I used to fear to talk about child birth complications but the women supported my efforts,” she said.
Sseruyange asked government to increase financial support to maternal health through the national budget.
“We need the national budget to reflect the concerns about fistula, maternal health and child birth,” said Sseruyange.
Dr Louis Wolf, who is one of the donors from the United States, said government should ensure the hospital is closed in 20 years by wiping fistula out of Uganda.
“This hospital is only part of a bigger infrastructure that needs to be built to prevent the problem of fistula from occurring in the first place,” he said.
“We have to work to ensure that 20 years from now, we don’t need this hospital,” he added.
The ceremony attracted Parliamentarians and senior government officials.
Kadaga also committed to support the drive to construct residential quarters for hospital staff.