By Taddeo Bwambale
A group of over 100 activists from 40 women organisations in Uganda Tuesday camped outside the constitutional court, protesting a delay by the court to declare maternal health a constitutional right.
The group, under their umbrella body, the Coalition to end Maternal Mortality, presented a petition to the judiciary spokesperson, Erias Kisawuzi.
The activists want the court to declare the absence of essential medicines and health supplies for pregnant women in Government health centres a violation of their constitutional rights.
They also want the Government to increase the health budget and ensure supply of essential medicines and equipment to save mothers’ lives.
On March 11, 2011, the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), a local women’s organisation filed a petition over the matter.
Noor Nakibuka, a programme officer at CEHURD said: “We are demanding as civil society that the health budget be increased to support the health of mothers,” she said.
“I am expecting a child soon but I am even scared of giving birth because of the current situation,” she said.
Statistics show that 16 women die every day due to birth-related complications in Uganda. Out of every 25 pregnant women, one faces a life time risk of pregnancy-related death.