WOMEN’S DAY: Female MPs petition for better maternal health funding. Female legislators under their umbrella body, the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have petitioned the government to provide sufficient funds in the 2022-2023 national budget for maternal health care.
There have been cases reported in the media where doctors ask for money before treating and performing a surgery i.e. a C-section and medical supplies like medicines, cotton wool, and gloves. Because of the dehumanizing experience at hospitals, many mothers seek the services of traditional birth attendants who were outlawed in 2005.
Hon Sarah Opendi the UWOPA chairperson presented the petition this afternoon during the plenary. She said that whilst there were reduced cases of maternal mortality, the health sector still needed to be well equipped and the Ministry of Health should ensure that all staff who provide maternal health care services are fully trained.
Opendi noted that most of the women who have given birth in hospitals or at home, do not have access or are not aware of postnatal care. She further informed members that there is a need for the ministry to provide a dedicated hotline where mothers in labour can report cases of corruption and negligence at a health facility.
“Even though 74 percent of childbirths in Uganda are attended to by skilled health personnel, it is important to note that 44 percent of women do not receive postnatal care within two weeks after childbirth, Opendi said.”
According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic Health Survey, the maternal mortality rate stands at 336 deaths per 100,000 live births. Teenage pregnancy contributes up to 17 per cent of all maternal deaths with over 300,000 teenage pregnancies reported.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among implored the Minister of Health to make a statement on how to improve maternal mortality and a report to be presented to parliament in two week time.
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