Harpenden charity helps build Ugandan maternity centre

The HSoA Team visiting the construction of the new Maternity Centre in Mbale, Uganda

The HSoA Team (which includes Harpenden locals Hefin Rees QC and Dr Bethan Rees) visiting the construction of the new Maternity Centre in Mbale, Uganda - Credit: HSoA

Your generosity has helped build a new maternity centre which will help safely deliver 2,000 babies every year in a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

Local residents have donated £150,000 to support Harpenden Spotlight on Africa's work overseeing the construction of the centre in Mbale, eastern Uganda.

A team of four volunteers from the charity have just returned from inspecting the project, which will deliver essential maternal health care services to the impoverished communities of Mbale free of charge.

A woman in Uganda is 56 times more likely to die in childbirth when compared with a woman living in the UK, and the new facility will provide dedicated pre, post and neo-natal healthcare to mothers and babies in an area where home births are common.

The chair of Harpenden Spotlight on Africa's fundraising committee, and charity patron Hefin Rees QC said: “The reaction from the people of Harpenden has been incredible in giving so generously towards this life-saving maternity centre.

"Local residents, despite the pandemic, have seen the need of others and responded with great humanity. Over the course of the next five to 10 years, this maternity centre will save hundreds of lives.”

The construction works are now over 50 per cent complete, with the new maternity centre opening in March, containing 33 rooms including an operating theatre.

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Working in partnership with an experienced team on the ground, alongside local government and community leaders, HSoA delivers projects in challenging environments, transforming the lives of some of the poorest people in Africa.

We work in four areas: education, health, clean water and economic development, meeting basic needs and allowing people to build fulfilling lives.

Harpenden Spotlight on Africa recently received a generous donation from the Nick Maughan Foundation that will enable it to complete the maternity centre. Philanthropist Nick Maughan is himself intending to travel to Uganda in March 2022 to attend the opening ceremony with patron Bim Afolami MP.