in the last year and a half we have all faced a challenge that we never would have imagined, from which we are finally emerging with great strenght and resilience. In Italy 83% of the population is vaccinated against Covid19. A precious goal for the good of all, especially for those who cannot receive the vaccine. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere.
In Uganda this challenge is still in its infancy. Out of a population of 44 million inhabitants, only 0.9% have received both doses of the vaccine, while the side effects of the pandemic are driving to the limit the poorest population, living in rural areas.
Today more than ever, every action implemented by our hospital in Kalongo wants to contribute concretely to the elimination of the gap between poverty and the right to health. This gap has dramatically widened during the pandemic and today threatens the health of women and children in particular.
The data speaks for itself and is of enormous concern. Since the beginning of the pandemic, immunization rates for children have decreased by 29%, antenatal visits by 26%, while the number of premature babies has increased (+ 122%). Maternity hospitalizations fell by 56%, while the number of assisted deliveries fell by 44% and the percentage of caesarean deliveries performed in emergency increased (+ 4%).
Faithful to its maternal-child vocation, the hospital is investing resources and energy to protect the health of women and their children. Because women are the backbone of Ugandan society. Taking care of them, training new midwives, educating women on the main health issues is today even more urgent and necessary if we want to save the greatest number of women and children not only from Covid19 but even more from the main preventable diseases, that because of misinformation and poverty are often fatal.
In this context, mothers are not only passive subjects. When informed and involved they become part of the solution to saving lives and promoting healthy behaviors.
Collecting the legacy of Father Giuseppe also means this: supporting the commitment of the hospital and the obstetrician school for and alongside Ugandan women. For a sustainable and lasting progress.
The right to health can no longer be the privilege of a few, we have now understood it well too, we took it for granted. If anyone falls behind, we all fall behind. Today, to really leave Covid behind us, we need to take care of those who cannot do it alone.
The work we carry out every day aims not only to support the hospital, but also to make it grow; first of all by training health personnel and actively involving and sensitizing local communities.
All this alone, however, would be impossible.
A big thank you to our small and large supporters, partner companies, institutions and friendly organizations who have chosen to support us even in this difficult year and a half. Your generosity allows us to carry out our plans for a more equitable, safer and healthier tomorrow for all.
From the heart, our best wishes