By Francis Emorut
Mulago hospital has only two beds to deliver 80 expectant mothers daily, a shortage that has led to majority of them delivering on the floor, a hospital medical officer has revealed.
“We have two delivery beds which are not comfortable and the mattresses are of poor quality. They get torn very fast,” Naomi Alobo, a nursing officer told visiting Ethiopian MPs.
She said 80 pregnant women deliver in the facility every day – 55 of them through normal delivery while 25 undergo Caesarean (C-section) operation.
She said the facility is understaffed, with 36 nurses available to attend to expectant mothers who are delivering.
She told the Ethiopian lawmakers that the mattresses of the two beds get torn within six months.
Mulago Hospital nursing officer Naomi Alobo talks to the visiting Ethiopian MPs. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
Earlier, Prof. Josephat Byamugisha, the head of department of obstetrics and gynaecology, informed the delegation headed by the deputy speaker of Ethiopia’s Parliament, Shitaye Minale that the hospital has so far delivered 374,049 babies in the period of 2000-2012.
The source of annual deliveries is from the department of obstetrics and gynaecology records.
The hospital recorded the largest number of deliveries last year of 38,345 babies followed by 33,331 and 31,169 deliveries in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
He told the group that there is significant drop in the maternal mortality rate from 707.2 per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 493.2 in 2012.
On family planning, Prof. Byamugisha said a total of 328,483 women accessed services of family planning in the period of 1998-2009.
He categorized the women seeking family planning services into three: Clients visits which totaled to 222,148 women while new acceptors and those visiting for the first time were 32,681 and 73,654 respectively.
The visiting team walk past a group of patients at the corridor of Mulago Hospital. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
Records indicate that the commonest method of family planning women prefer is by injection popularly known as “depo”.
Deputy speaker Shitaye Minale commended the Ugandan government for the strides made in maternal mortality rate reduction.
The delegation, which was accompanied by UFPA officials, also visited the fistula ward and was alarmed by the lack of space for fistula patients as some of them lay on the floor.
“This is not a conducive environment for fistula patients. Can’t something be done to improve the condition they are living in?” wondered MP Holie Folie Oda.
The Ethiopian MPs have been in the country for a five-day visit to learn and share experiences with their Ugandan counterparts on population development and reproductive health.