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Limited Supplies Thwart Efforts to Reduce Perinatal Deaths at Kawolo Hospital

In most cases, perinatal mortality is caused by preterm birth, Infant respiratory distress syndrome and Birth defects. But Dr Kiberu says that a number of the causes could be managed, in time to prevent deaths, if the facility had enough consumables and equipment in the neonatal department.
The entry point of Kawolo Hosipital along Kampala-Jinja Highway in Lugazi Municipality.

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Kawolo Hospital in Buikwe district is struggling to reduce perinatal deaths. The hospital loses 3 to 4 per cent of the babies in the first seven days after birth, every year, according to records shared by the Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Joshua Kiberu. 

In most cases, perinatal mortality is caused by preterm birth, Infant respiratory distress syndrome and Birth defects. But Dr Kiberu says that a number of the causes could be managed, in time to prevent deaths, if the facility had enough consumables and equipment in the neonatal department.  

He says the facility needs more incubators, feeding tubes, phototherapy lights, respiratory and cardiac monitors and radiant warmers to help babies get better warmth and breathing.       //Cue in; “Our gap is…   Cue out…are not available.”//  

He explains that a number of expectant mothers bleed before reaching health facilities sending babies into hypoxia the state of having deficiency oxygen reaching tissues and anaemia, a condition of lacking enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body tissues, which in turn affects their first days on earth. He also blames the problem on delays in seeking care.  

A midwife at Kawolo Maternity Ward who preferred anonymity told URN that on several occasions they have been talking to mothers who usually understand to but the consumables in order to save their lives, and that of their babies when the need arises.  

“Sometimes we even get ashamed of requesting for just gloves from them after looking at their status but we are forced to do so to save their lives when we are completely out supplies,” She revealed.  

Agnes Namuswe, one of the caretakers who had escorted a daughter to deliver at the maternity ward told URN that a number of women come with mama kits to avoid inconveniences.

Meanwhile, Dr Kiberu reasons that the hospital is still appealing to the government to increase on the budget as a way of reducing the funding gap. The Hospitals budget stands at 800 million Shillings, although their allocation is still at 540 million Shillings.  

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