Now MPs Demand Monthly Updates on Maternal Deaths from MoH

Mbarara Wonman MP, Margaret Ayebare says it is important to get the monthly reports because some of the districts do not submit maternal audit reports to the ministry.

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Members of the parliamentary committee on health have today resolved to demand a monthly report on maternal deaths in the country.

This was among the committee's 14 resolutions  to improve maternal and child health in the next five years following a three-day capacity-building workshop that ended on Friday. The workshop was facilitated by the Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development-CEHURD.

The members led by Kabale Municipality MP, Nicholas Kamara, Soroti Woman MP Anne Adeke and Mbarara Woman MP Margaret Ayebare want the health ministry to provide a monthly update on maternal deaths.

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Kamara says the update will be on the status of maternal deaths in Uganda and strategies being implemented to reduce maternal mortality. 

"We will engage the government to maintain a dashboard for maternal and child mortality to ensure that cases are monitored and corrective action is taken to address the challenges identified," he says.

He added, "We want to know how bad the situation is, check the accuracy of the figures with what we have on the ground because some pregnant women die outside the health facilities before or after childbirth."

It has been reported that Uganda loses 16 mothers during childbirth every day. But legislators say this data needs to be backed by the reports from all the districts.

Mbarara Wonman MP, Margaret Ayebare says it is important to get the monthly reports because some of the districts do not submit maternal audit reports to the ministry.

"The Ministry of health has told us that Uganda has recorded so far 590 maternal deaths since January 2021, yet these were reported from only 65 districts and we have 146 districts," she revealed. "So we must be concerned about how many women we are losing daily, monthly and yearly and the impact it has socially and economically."

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She says the committee will therefore pressurize the ministry to get reports from all districts on maternal deaths so that the country gets to know how many expectant mothers die daily in Uganda.

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Fatia Kiyange, the Deputy Director at CEHURD, says that although the health ministry has reported a decline on maternal deaths from 448 in 100,000 live births in 2011 to 336 in 100,000 live births in 2016, the numbers are still unbearably high. This is due mainly to excessive blood loss during childbirth, high blood pressure, unsafe abortions, obstructed labour, infections, delays in seeking medical care and also inadequate health care.

Kiyange explains further that the maternal deaths figures are high among teenagers, who make up 18 percent of mothers who have died since last year.

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Buikwe South MP Dr. Lulume Bayiga, says the workshop is timely because it has provided information on health rights. He adds that the health committee will push for increased funding to the health sector, passage of national health laws, national health insurance law, Organ transplants, and amendments to various laws including the Public Health Act and Penal Code among others.

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