By Ronald Kabuye
There has been a tremendous reduction in Maternal mortality by 44% and 10% of the new born death in 13 districts of western and northern Uganda in the last five years.
This is entailed in the 2018 final report, results of a five year partnership to reduce maternal and new born mortality which covered three countries including Uganda, Zambia 41% and Nigeria 28% maternal mortality reduction rate launched by the minister of health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng in Kampala.
The success is attributed to the public private partnership code named “saving mothers giving life SMGL”. The initiative has helped two thirds of the pregnant women give birth in health facilities in SMGL districts up from 46% in 2012, 36% reduction in still births, 9% increase in Caesarean deliveries up from 5% in 2012 and a proportion of women who died in SMGL facilities declined by nearly half.
The number of women who received treatment for prevention of mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission increased by five fold and today 94% health facilities have family planning methods services in place, 85% of infants are breastfeed in the first one hour compared to the 23%in 2012 which has helped to 10% of new born deaths.
While launching the report, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said that what is left for them is to discuss the sustainability of this great model and to be rolled out throughout the entire country.
She appealed to everyone to put more efforts and interest in bringing maternal mortality to at least 120 per 100,000 live births from the current 336 but the best should be no death at all.
“we are rolling out the same program through result based financing program.
This program has been a success due to daily basis engagement and educating of the locals, availability of medication, transportation of pregnant women hence the increased women visiting hospitals. ” said Aceng.
She however cited availability of human resources and their retention, inadequate availability of medicines and supplies as the major challenges faced by the ministry.
Meanwhile the United States of America ambassador to Uganda H.E Deborah Malac said much is still needed to do to reduce maternal and new born mortality thus urging government to increase human, financial and infrastructural resources towards the same and to scale up such public-private partnerships attributing the deadlock of development to poor health of women and children.
By Ronald Kabuye