Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Absa Bank Uganda has erected four drinking water dispensers worth UGX 29.4 million at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital to increase access to safe drinking water for patients, caretakers and medical personnel while helping the facility save on costs related to drinking water.
The hospital serves 10 surrounding districts and receives over 800 patients daily who have to provide their own drinking water to take medication, with many resorting to drinking unboiled water, which leads to several diseases.
Absa Bank Uganda’s water units will cater to 174 ill children and their caretakers under the children’s ward; 107 people under the maternity ward; 101 women in labour and post-natal care and 111 caretakers under the gynaecology ward; 300 people under the Out Patient Department – which is the busiest department and; an average of 170 people in the Emergency Unit.
While handing over the units on Thursday, Mumba Kalifungwa, Absa Bank Uganda’s Managing Director, said, “The world is already facing a water crisis, and it is doubly tragic that this crisis is trickling down and affecting those with great need within our health facilities. Through these dispensers, we are staying true to our commitment to being a force for good in the society we live and operate in for the good of the people of Fort Portal and the surrounding districts.”
According to the World Health Organisation, over 2 billion people globally live in water-stressed countries, which is expected to be exacerbated in some regions as a result of climate change and population growth. Additionally, eight out of 10 people who lack even basic drinking water services live in rural areas, and about half of them live in the least developed countries (LDCs).
Dr Oscar Kaliisa Kyebambe, the Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital deputy director, said, “Clean and safe drinking water is an absolute necessity for a healthy and thriving society, and as a health facility, the inadequate access to drinking water has been a cause of delays for in patients around receiving and positively responding to treatment. So, to Absa Bank Uganda, thank you so much for coming forward with this much-needed support, which will go a long way towards helping our patients along the journey of healing and recovery.”