by James Ditai
A case study of maternal health care services: The Sanyu bridge for poor mothers in rural Uganda
Edith Sanyu, is a Ugandan woman who was referred to Mulago hospital from a small village in Mbarara, western Uganda with obstructed labour. Her Uterus had ruptured, a hysterectomy was done and she was sent to the High Dependency Unit but later died. There was no blood available on that day yet she had bled excessively. Although not well known herself, she represents the many voiceless women around the world who suffer from lack of resources for maternal and Newborn health, as well as the path that these women, especially the poor, undergo. Sanyu, Sanyu Africa Research Institute (SAfRI) was conceived.
SAfRI is the fruit of a long-standing relationship over many years in the area since 2000/2001 between the University of Liverpool (Prof Andrew Weeks), and Makerere University, Mbale Hospital, Ministry of Health. The creation of the Sanyu Research unit (University of Liverpool) and its sister unit, SAfRI in Mbale, a more rural setting, is pivotal in building a Sanyu bridge so that no mother and no newborn falls 'into the water' in a resource-poor country like Uganda. The Sanyu Unit is able to achieve positive maternal health outcomes with few resources through collaborative clinical research and low-cost innovative technologies. We work closely with local healthcare providers and government to strengthen the research capacity and promote inspiring models of maternal clinical practice.
SAfRI enables a tripartite link with the local community, often people talk of a 'bench to bedside to roadside’ link when describing SAfRI. SAfRI gets the ready laboratory works (bench) and ensures it is clinically relevant to the local context from the bedside (hospitals, lower health centres) or to even to the roadside (in a more rural setting) or the community.
For more information about SAfRI, check out the website: www.safri.ac.ug