Infants’ Health Foundation was founded in March 2018 by Kyomuhendo Sylivia. Sylivia grew up from one of the remote rural villages in Hoima district, Uganda. Sylivia lost her beloved sister because of spina bifida who was born with a dark spot and hairy patch at the back. The family and neighbors muchly believed it was witchcraft and took her to a witch doctor to be cleansed of the demons they truly believed were attacking her. Unfortunately, Sarah (the sister) died. Sylivia always believed that her sister would probably still be alive if she and the mother got the needed maternal-child healthcare services, if there was good maternal nutrition and if the community was sensitized about maternal health. After that sad experience and frustration about lack of maternal health and poor nutrition in her community and Uganda at large she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in community based rehabilitation at Kyambogo University in 2014 to understand and learn about birth defects and disabilities. At the end of her study she emerged as the best female student in Department of Community & Disability Studies and was given an offer to become a full time teaching assistant lecture but she declined the offer saying it was to pull her away from her goal. Through the 2006 March of Dimes report on birth defects Sylivia realized that there were many mothers in Uganda and Africa at large who do not receive maternal health care and proper nutrition and babies are born with preventable abnormalities & end up dying due to preventable birth defects.
She was joined by Okello Harrison who had the idea of increasing maternal nutrition in mothers prior to and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects after his twin sisters born with anencephaly both died before even celebrating their first birthdays in their lives. They therefore merged their ideas.
With intrinsic passion and commitment, motivated by their sad experiences and frustrations, they started fundraisings; from family members, well-wishers and the Faculty of Special Needs, Kyambogo University. With the raised funds, they launched Infants’ Health Foundation in January 2018 with Kyomuhendo Sylivia as Founder & Director and Okello Harrison as Co-Founder & CEO.