Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health is anticipating to register a significant improvement in maternal health come the Uganda demographic health survey expected to take place later this year.
In the previous survey conducted in 2016, Uganda registered improvement in maternal health with reduced mortality at 336 per 100,000 live births from 448 in 2011.
Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period according to world health organization.
Dr. Joyce Moriku, the minister for primary health care, says that despite the challenges, the government has invested effort to see that there is significant improvement which makes her optimistic.
Upgrading health center IIs to health center IIIs to provide better equipment and continuous intervention such as sensitizing mothers on family planning has been vigorously promoted by government in the past years.
The minister notes that interventions by the government are to manage issues such as excessive bleeding by mothers after birth, high blood pressure during and after birth, abortion, obstructed labor and indirect causes like anemia and malaria among others, which are the leading causes for maternal mortality.
In addition, teenage pregnancies, which contribute 18% of all maternal mortality worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic lock down. Dr. Richad Mugahi, Assistant Commissioner for Reproductive and Infant Health however reports that the government is equally taking measures to redress this.
In an annual health sector performance report 2020 by ministry of health however, the number of maternal deaths at 21 hospitals was 496 in 2019-2020, compared to 424 in 2018-2019.
These included Kawempe National Referral Hospital with the highest number of maternal deaths at 116, followed by Hoima 46, Masaka 38, Fort Portal 37 and Mbale Regional Referral Hospital 33.