What We Are Doing
Ugandan children's Race for Survival 7 Sep 2015
The Race for Survival in Uganda took place on 18 – 20 August in the Kasese district around the theme - Celebrating progress on ending preventable child deaths - and was co-organised by Save the Children and the Kasese District Local Government. The three days of race activities attracted participation from over 500 children, teachers, mothers as well as community and district leaders from 8 districts in Western Uganda including: Fort Portal, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kasese , Kamwenge , Mbarara, Ntungamo and Kisoro districts.
35 children and 5 teachers selected from 10 primary schools from two sub-counties, Busongora and Bukonzo, gathered at the Rwenzori International Hotel to learn about child survival and preventable deaths. The children and their teachers heard about healthcare for women and children from the midwife Masika Night from the Rwesande Health Centre IV in Kasese, and learnt e.g. that the midwives advocate for the involvement of fathers in antenatal care, so that they get first-hand information from midwives about the importance of special care for expectant mothers. Before going into group work to reflect on what needs to be done to improve maternal and child health, the children had the opportunity to ask questions and did so insightfully, asking Ms Night about children’s access to health service, immunization and whether male nurses also deliver babies.
More than 50 people (including local government, partners, religious leaders and faith-based organisations) attended a Planning & Dialogue day with district leaders, in order to share children’s recommendations, learn about Uganda’s Civil Society Coalition on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and to discuss improvements to service delivery in the region.
It was finally the Race day, where 120 children and adults ran at Kinyamaseke Primary School. Alongside the Race there was a brass band march and a health care clinic, including an HIV/AIDS and a children’s clinic (where children between 0-5 years old received immunization against polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, TB, hepatitis B, pneumonia, measles as well as deworming and Vitamin A) and 150 people were served. The fastest 15 runners were boys while the fastest girl, Kabugho Angelica, finished in the 16th position. The overall winner of the race was Balyana Sylve, and all participants were awarded with certificates from Save the Children. The Race was attended by district leaders, as well as the District Chair, Mr. Muhindo Thaddeus.
The three day long Race for Survival was wrapped up with the announcement that Save the Children will work with district leaders to ensure that health outcomes improve for children and mothers. This will include the implementation of a project to improve access to health facilities in the district, with for example motorcycle ambulances, and capacity building to health workers on maternal and child health.