By Luke Kagiri
FIFTY-eight percent of Ugandan women give birth in their homes, according to the 2006 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. The research, conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, showed that the percentage of Ugandan mothers giving birth from health facilities had increased in the past 10 years.
According to the report, carried out every after five years, 42% of the women gave birth in an institution, compared with 38% in 2000 and 36% in 1995.
Most of the mothers gave birth in a public facility while only 12% delivered in private facilities.
The survey highlighted that 42% of the mothers were attended to by a skilled person and 23% by a traditional birth attendant.
â€œAlmost 90% were attended to by a relative or another person at home but 10% gave birth by themselves.â€ The survey showed that the highest percentage of Ugandan mothers received antenatal care from a skilled provider.
According to Dr. Kamba Baleke from the Ministry of Health, Ugandan women start antenatal care at a relatively late stage in their pregnancy.
â€œSeventeen percent went for antenatal care before the fourth month of pregnancy, as recommended.â€
Baleke was speaking during a workshop about the survey at Enro Hotel in Mityana recently.
The report noted that 35% of the women interviewed were told about pregnancy complications during the antenatal care visits.
Postpartum care (after delivery) is still low in Uganda. Only 23% of the women are said to have received postpartum care within the first two days after delivery, as recommended.
â€œNearly 74% did not get postpartum care in the last five years.â€
On breastfeeding, 64% of the children under six months were exclusively breastfed. This figure is below the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.
The survey indicated that eight in 10 children aged six to nine months were eating complementary foods in addition to breastfeeding, as recommend by WHO.