The MTN Foundation Uganda on Thursday handed over a newly completed sanitary facility to Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital in Kampala. The sanitary facility was constructed with funding from the MTN Foundation following the soaring numbers of mental health patients that caused constraints on the existing facilities.
Initiated by Soul Foundation, a Not-for-profit mental health awareness organization, the MTN Foundation-funded project was executed under the Butabika Sanitation Improvement Project (SIP) with technical support from the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
At a cost of Ugx.333Million, the sanitary facility consisting of 7 waterborne toilets; 3 for the female patients and 4 for their male counterparts was specifically designed to ensure the safety of patients with severe mental illness, providing the highest possible sanitation at the health facility. Additionally, the toilets are water-efficient as they require less water to flush than ordinary ones.
The ultra-modern facility was handed over today in a ceremony held at the hospital, presided over by the health state minister in charge of Primary Health Care, Hon Hanifa Kawooya.
In her remarks, Hon. Kawooya extended her appreciation towards MTN Foundation for supporting the government’s efforts through extending their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to the health sector.
“Butabika hospital is the National referral mental hospital in the country, tending to patients from all over the country. I, therefore, applaud MTN Foundation for stepping up to support us by providing this institution with modern sanitary facilities that will positively impact the lives of our patients,” said Kawooya.
While handing over the facility, Enid Edroma, the General Manager of MTN Corporate services expressed MTN’s commitment towards supporting the government to improve service delivery in key sectors.
“Corporate social responsibility is at the core of our operations as MTN Uganda. We believe that as a corporate company, giving back to the community is critical to our business growth as it creates shared value between us and the people we serve,” Edroma said, “We are indeed humbled to have been considered the partners of choice in making a difference in the lives of the patients in this hospital.”
Butabika hospital currently has close to 1000 patients who will benefit from the additional ultra-modern sanitary facility donated by the MTN Foundation.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Juliet-N Nakku, the hospital’s Executive Director hailed MTN Foundation for coming to the rescue of the hospital.
“Given the influx of patients, our old sewerage system had become inadequate. I am glad that the MTN Foundation stepped in to render us support. This facility will help address our sanitary needs while ensuring the safety of our patients, given that we are a psychiatric/mental health hospital,” Nakku said.
Between 2015 and 2017, MTN Foundation, through KCCA donated all the proceeds from the MTN Kampala Marathon towards the installation of modern toilet facilities including water harvesting and bio-gas components in 10 schools around the city. This was aimed at improving sanitation in the schools. To date, the facilities are serving thousands of learners in the beneficiary schools.
KCCA’s Daniel Okello noted that their journey in improving sanitary facilities in public institutions started over10 years ago when MTN constructed similar facilities in over 10 KCCA schools around Kampala.
Edroma reiterated MTN’s commitment towards complementing the government’s efforts in critical areas such as health, education, e-commerce, and youth empowerment.
“MTN is passionate about the well-being and health of the people in the communities within which it operates. It is for this reason that we saw cause in undertaking this project, to make a difference in the day to day lives of the patients in this hospital,” Edroma said.