Uganda has the potential of bringing maternal deaths to zero with commitment from health workers and prompt appearance of mothers in health centres, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah says.
According to Oulanyah, if health facilities are supported with sufficient funding and a well-motivated human resource, the country can end unnecessary deaths of mothers and babies in hospitals.
The Deputy Speaker made the statement while officiating over the handover of 300 mama kits and post-natal medical equipment, to Lalogi Health Centre IV in Omoro District, last evening. The Mama kits were donated in part, by the Christian Counselling Fellowship (CCF) and partners, on top of finances donated by residents of the district to procure the kits to aid mothers in the district.
The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicated that Uganda loses 368 mothers per 100,000 births annually. The number dropped from the 2011 reported figure of 438 deaths but is still way high from the 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 financial year Health Sector Development Plan targeting a reduction to 320 per 100,000 live births.
While at Lalogi Health Centre IV, Oulanyah commended efforts by the facility to bring down the number of maternal deaths in Omoro district to zero per cent in 2018. He said that the statistics were attributed to committed health workers at the health centre and the improving early response of community members, which brings more hope of good maternal health for the district and the country at large.
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He, however, observed that two maternal deaths had been registered by the health centre in 2019, which was majorly attributed to delayed access to medical services by expectant mothers. He said a better force of health workers is the best remedy to this gap.
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Alice Acan, The Director Christian Counselling Fellowship (CCF) said that many mothers experienced challenges with taking care of their new-born babies upon leaving the hospital, which poses an urgent need to provide maternal kits that can improve their healthcare.
"Lalogi Health Centre IV serves patients from Omoro, Pader and Nwoya districts. We raised 1200 mama kits which we shall distribute to health centres in these districts. We have also donated baby warmers to help newborn babies contain temperatures after birth," said Acan.
Omoro District Woman MP Catherine Lamwaka called for the revival of activities and meetings by the district health committee, so as to avail the necessary stakeholders with information to guide interventions in closing some of the gaps therein.
Some of the other items donated to Lalogi Health Centre IV included 30 hospital beds and mattresses, four delivery beds, 30 blankets and 30 pairs of bed sheets.