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Expectant mothers shun health facilities as Covid-19 cases surge

Expectant mothers not seeking antenatal care services in fear of contracting Covid-19 from health units.

Kwania, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kwania district health department has registered a decline in the number of pregnant mothers seeking antenatal care services. The expectant mothers are reportedly shunning health facilities for fear of contracting COVID-19.

At least 10 health workers in the district have tested positive for COVID-19. Kwania district has cumulatively registered 73 COVID-19 positive cases and 3 recoveries out of the 905 samples taken by Saturday.

Reports from the health department show that antenatal care attendance at Nambieso HCIII has dropped from between 200 and 250 patients weekly to less than 100. Dr. Moses Ebong, the Kwania District Health Officer says that since the government declared the lockdown to contain the second wave of COVID-19, the number of people seeking medical services has dropped.

According to Dr. Ebong, they have resorted to engaging Village Health Team (VHT) members at the grassroots to follow up on expectant mothers and build their confidence in seeking antenatal services.

Polly Amolo, a resident of Abura trading center in Nambieso sub county explained that expectant mothers are shunning health facilities because of rude midwives. She says that quite often, midwives are not gentle in the labour ward, which makes child delivery a dreadful experience.

Brenda Okello, an expectant mother and resident of Alany cell in Aduku town council says they are afraid of contracting COVID-19, since midwives have run short of PPEs exposing them to the risk of infection.

Joan Abutu, the Kwania District Health and Education Secretary says if the current trend continues, the end results will be maternal child deaths. Abutu says that the health workers who tested positive for COVID-19 are under home based care.

Kwania Resident District Commissioner, Salim Komakech who also heads the district COVID-19 taskforce urged the public to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures instituted by the government to scale down the spread of the pandemic.

Komakech said that they have already reactivated the village and sub-county COVID-19 taskforces to aid the fight against the virus.



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