Uganda makes strides in combating maternal mortality

Experts from World Health Organisation have revealed a significant reduction in maternal mortality rates.

Dr Olive Sentumbwe, a family and population advisor from the World Health Organization (WHO), reported a drop from 16 maternal deaths per day in 2016 to eight currently.

“Factors such as improvement in the health systems, partners, and community outreach programmes have helped to achieve in fighting maternal deaths in the country,” Dr Sentumbwe said.

She made the remarks on Friday during Save the Mothers East Africa 2024, Maternal and child Health conference at Uganda Christian University Mukono (UCU).

However, challenges remain. Delays in seeking medical care due to lack of transportation, negative attitudes towards health facilities, and insufficient equipment in some health centers continue to contribute to maternal deaths.

Dr Charles Olaro, director of clinical services at the Ministry of Health, highlighted the progress made in both maternal and newborn mortality reduction.

“We have seen improved coordination among stakeholders and better accountability for service delivery at all levels,” he said.

Dr Olaro also pointed out the increased number of deliveries taking place in health facilities (91%). Additionally, the Ministry has established local maternity and neonatal systems to improve reproductive and child health services.

“We are working hard to ensure no mother or child dies from preventable childbirth complications,” Dr Olaro asserted.

Despite the progress, preventable causes like obstetric hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, sepsis, birth asphyxia, and complications from prematurity continue to claim mothers’ lives.

Dr Olaro, however, said the Ministry of Health remains committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 and ending preventable newborn and child deaths under five.

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