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Women Root For Space in Hospitals For Mothers With Children in Neonatal Care

The women argue that whereas the government and development partners are advocating for the survival of premature babies, they have not given attention to mothers who have to stay at the health facilities until their babies are discharged.
Women championing for the survival of premature born babies say most health units lack facilities to accommodate mothers of these newly born

Audio 7

Women championing the survival of prematurely born babies are asking the government to establish halls in health facilities for mothers.

The women argue that whereas the government and development partners are advocating for the survival of premature babies, they have not given attention to mothers who have to stay at the health facilities until their babies are discharged.

They also want the government to establish Neonatal Intensive Care Units-NICU) at lower local government health facilities to ease pressure on the existing few facilities and save the mothers the risk of losing their babies due to the long distances.

Dr. Margaret Nakakeeto Kijambu the Chairperson of the newborn steering committee under the Ministry of Health says that once children are taken for neonatal care their mothers are left without a designated place to accommodate them.

Nakakeeto now wants the government that whenever they are going to establish neonatal facilities they also create separate rooms for mothers. 

//Cue in: “Mothers here will…

Cue out: …for the mothers.”//

Nakakeeto also showed concern that the absence of neonatal facilities in most health facilities is frustrating efforts to save the lives of babies born prematurely.  

//Cue in: “Please budget for.

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Annet Nsebakye developed completions in her seventh month of pregnancy and went to Mushenene HCIII in Nyakiyumbu Sub County but was referred to Bwera Hospital when it was established that she needed to be operated on before her due date.

She says that it was a hard experience sleeping in corridors for a complete month while attending to her premature child. 

 //Cue in: “Nanga birilyara…

Cue out: …to bwera hospital.”//

Irene Nakacwa a health and nutrition specialist at UNICEF at Mbarara Regional office says neonatal services must be inclusive so that mothers can have peace of mind for good milk production and being in touch with their families.

Nakacwa adds that while development partners are trying to fix some gaps in the health sector, it should be in the interest of the government to ensure the system is much better.

//Cue in: “This mother has… 

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Dr. Gatare .S. Alphonse the Medical Superintendent of Bwera General Hospital says that both the maternity and postnatal ward are full calling for an expansion of the facility.

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Dr. Richard Mugahi, the Assistant Commissioner for Reproductive and Infant Health in the Ministry of Health says that the ministry will liaise with district leaders to mobilize for resources so that structures can be put up to accommodate the mothers.  

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Currently, in Uganda, 14 babies in every 1,000 live births are prematurely born with the leading causes being pre-eclampsia, uncontrolled pre-existing high blood pressure among others.