By Ambrose Gahene
Lions Clubs of Uganda have called upon women to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship to eradicate poverty and diseases in households.
The call was voiced by various professionals and members of Lions Clubs of Uganda on Tuesday, during celebrations to mark International Women’s Day at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala. Celebrations of the Women’s Day ran under the theme: “The impact of COVID- 19 Pandemic on the Girl Child, Remodeling Service in Communities”
John Bosco Ntangare, Lions Clubs of Uganda, District 411B Governor, called on women to strive much in promoting women projects through innovation and entrepreneurship skilling to eradicate household poverty and diseases.
He said encouraging communities to plant trees, construct houses for the vulnerable and donating for health facilities are among innovations spearheaded by Lions Clubs of Uganda, instead of leaving all the community burdens to be sorted out by Government.
“If you have been in a situation of need, then you better appreciate the meaning of humanitarian service. Lions are best known for this type of service”, he said.
Lion Eleanor Bageine, the coordinator of New Voices, a women development organization, called upon women to share experiences and challenges faced by society. She said New Voices is a forum for learning from one another for the betterment of society.
“It’s my appeal that each one of us contributes some ideas in this meeting. The aim of New Voices is to inspire many people to be dynamic, innovative and a platform for barrier-breaking and taking up leadership roles”, she said.
Gorretie Bamwanga, the Chairperson for Women International Maternity Aid (WIMA), said their organization was formed in 1989 by senior women medics to among others end maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. She said WIMA members are currently carrying out countrywide fundraisings, through zoom meetings and Whatsapp member groups, to equip maternity wards in health centres across the country.
“Through fundraising innovations, WIMA has been able to equip maternity wards in Nsambya police clinic, Kisugu, Kawempe, Njeru, Kayunga, Ndejje, Ngoma and Uganda Red Cross health Centre maternity wards among others”, she said. In addition, she said WIMA is also engaged in fundraising to educate children of vulnerable communities.
She pointed out that the effects of COVID 19 Lockdown led to a number of schools going girls getting pregnant, through early marriages or being defiled by adult men. She enumerated the worst child pregnancy affected districts to include; Wakiso, Mukono, Lira, Oyam and Busoga plus Rwenzori sub-regions.
“We are delivering an integrated maternal health programme which is enhancing access to quality maternal healthcare in the country, in addition to teaching people about identifying the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth and when they should seek professional assistance. Health promotion is leading to an increase in the number of women who give birth in Health Centres with a skilled birth attendant. We are also providing lifesaving advice on care of the newborn baby”, she added.
Lion Gervase Ndyanabo, a member of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), said through innovations, Lions clubs’ members have contributed towards ending preventable blindness in communities; by carrying out diabetes and eye screening health camps in the country. He said about 253 million people suffer from blindness in the world, yet 75 per cent of blindness is avoidable.