The World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative, Dr. Joaquim Saweka, has called on legislators to use their powers to remove legal barriers and facilitate women and children to access essential care,
â€œWith your power, there is no limit to what you can do and achieve to improve the health of mothers and new-borns,â€ Saweka said.
Addressing a parliamentary conference on maternal and newborn health at Hotel Africana in Kampala, he said nearly all maternal deaths take place in developing countries.
In some parts of the world, he added, pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among women. The conference was opened in Kampala on Monday by President Yoweri Museveni.
Saweka also appealed to MPs to compel their respective governments to give sufficient funding to women and children healthcare schemes.
He, however, expressed disappointment that many developing countries were unlikely to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) aimed at improving maternal health by 2015.
Saweka praised Uganda for reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence from 18% in 1992 to 6.2% in 2002.
Deputy Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said maternal mortality had a high impact on the economy and appealed to governments to fight it.
The director of the division of the Promotion of the Inter-Party Parliamentary Union, Martin Chunggong, asked the MPs to ensure that maternal health and child survival is high on their political agenda.
MPs urged to support women