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Maternal health still a challenge on Lake Victoria shores

By Nelson Kiva

Added 27th July 2019 08:57 PM

Nabagala four months back delivered her daughter Sarah Aliya along the road at night. She was caught up in severe labor pain on her way to Kategula health center II, located in a distance of more than 10kilometers.

Maternal health still a challenge on Lake Victoria shores

Medics checking a pregnant woman at Butembe during a health outreach. Photo by Nelson Kiva

Nabagala four months back delivered her daughter Sarah Aliya along the road at night. She was caught up in severe labor pain on her way to Kategula health center II, located in a distance of more than 10kilometers.

 
MATERNAL HEALTH
 
BUIKWE - Efforts by Government and development partners have significantly contributed to the decline in infant and maternal mortality rates. This is according to the Ministry of Health.
 
However, Fatuma Nabagala aged 25, resident of Butembe village in Nyenga Division, Njeru Municipality in Buikwe district insists, a lot still needs to be done to guarantee safe motherhood to mothers along the shorelines of Lake Victoria.
 
Nabagala four months back delivered her daughter Sarah Aliya along the road at night. She was caught up in severe labor pain on her way to Kategula health center II, located in a distance of more than 10kilometers.
 
Kategula is the nearest public health facility in the area. However, another challenge Nabagala could have encountered if she had managed to reach Kategula, is being bounced because health centre II's have no mandate to help mothers deliver.
 
 hildren being immunised during a health outreach in utembe village hoto by elson iva Children being immunised during a health outreach in Butembe village. Photo by Nelson Kiva

 

 "We appeal to the government to establish a health centre in Butembe to not only cater for maternal health, but also provide other health services since there is a high disease burden along the Lakeshores," she said.
 
To justify her appeal for a health centre at Butembe, Nabagala, insists that the terrain of the area was very dangerous for boda boda riders to transport pregnant mothers to far health facilities for delivery.
 
"Most of the boda boda riders fear being targeted by thugs in the isolated corners of the road to Nyenga or Jinja at night.
 
Those who agree to take you overcharge you between Sh10,000 to 20,000," she said.
 
Nabagala also appeals for more sensitization of the men to support their wives during pregnancy among others to escort them for antenatal outreaches and at delivery.
 
Vicente Masaba, who attended a health outreach organized by St. John Ambulance and Christ the King health center, disclosed that most men in the area were not escorting their wives for antenatal because the nature of their work which is fishing does not allow them time to escort their wives.  
 
St. John Ambulance and Christ the King health center are coordinating a health programme called "Maama na Mwana" 
 
Julius Paul Muzale, a clinician at Christ the King health center said the programme on top of supporting pregnant mothers with antenatal services they were also sensitizing husbands to support their wives during pregnancy.
 
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) key indicators report for the sixth Demographic and Health Survey 2016, infant mortality rate has declined from 54 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016.
 
The report also indicated that child mortality has seen a steady decrease from 38 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011 to 22 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016.
 
Uganda has made great strides in maternal health, according to the report.
 
Maternal mortality has reduced from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births registered in the 2011 UDHS report to the current 336 deaths per 100,000 live births.
 
There is also a marked improvement in pregnant women attending four or more antenatal care visits from 48% in 2011 to 60% in 2016 while the number of births in health facilities increased from 57% in 2011 to 73% in 2016.

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