"How can a country of 40 million people still have a ban on the number of health workers yet it doesn't have enough?"
(Photo credit: Parliament)
JINJA - The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has challenged Members of Parliament to stand against the ban on recruitment of health workers.
While addressing midwives at Jinja SS grounds in Jinja town on Saturday, she said the ban is hurting quality of service delivery in the sector.
"Fellow MPs, let us battle the ban on recruitment in the health sector. How can a country of 40 million people still have a ban on the number of health workers yet it doesn't have enough?" Kadaga said.
This was during the marking of International Midwives' Day - celebrated every May 5.
'Midwives leading the way with quality of care' was this year's theme.
According to the state minister for health, Sarah Opendi, Uganda has 17, 855 trained midwives, but only 12,621 are deployed.
"These numbers are actually low compared to the number of mothers they face," the minister said.
At least 1.5 million mothers deliver in Uganda every year in the hands of the midwives.
"Midwives are stressed. They are stressed at the work place, working 24 hours and sometimes don't have supplies," Opendi said.
She apologised on behalf of government for not having done enough.
"We must address this challenge - focus on training to increase their number so they do not have to work for 24 hours".
Alain Sibenaler, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative, commended midwives for the work they are doing despite the many challenges they face.
Currently, there is a recruitment ceiling for public servants in various sectors which is affecting service delivery.