Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nine midwives from four Health Centers managed by Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA, have been named among those who offer dignified care to mothers seeking antenatal care
The midwives are Kitimbo Fatuma Namagembe and Zam Nampanga from Kisenyi Health Centre IV, Clare Vilma and Joan Kasimire from Kitebi Health Centre III, Cissy Bagaba, Judith Achay and Faith Nansereko from Kisuggu Health Centre III and Catherine Namuddu and Margret Nabiryo from Kawaala Health Centre IV.
The mothers, from the areas of Namuwongo, Bugoloobi, Kasubi and Kisenyi, among others, described the midwives as caring, patient, respectful and composed. They said that the midwives welcomed them to the centres and guided them to the unit they needed, even when they were tired and frustrated, they did not project their emotions. In addition, the midwives always introduced themselves, wore their uniforms, kept time and shared contacts with patients for further guidance.
This is according to a survey conducted by White Ribbon Alliance, a global movement that seeks to advance reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights. The survey was conducted in September 2020 as part of the Kampala Slum Maternity and Newborn Health Project -MANE, a project intended to improve maternal health in slum areas. The project is implemented by KCCA.
Catherine Namuddu, one of the Midwives says that in the execution of her duties, she treats patients with respect and understanding, adding that it is professionally wrong and against the principle of dignified care, to discriminate against persons seeking medical services, regardless of their financial, social and health status.
Another midwife, Judith Achay says that she keeps a good relationship with her patients through listening and treating them with integrity. She says, she follows her patients up to ensure that they are taken care of and offer contacts for them to reach her for further guidance.
The nine midwives were awarded 500,000 Shillings each and a certificate of recognition for their services.
David Ssebuggwawo, the programs manager at White Ribbon says the survey was intended to generate feedback from patients about the conduct of midwives and if they offered them, dignified care.
In 2014, the World Health Organisation-WHO released a statement for the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth, stating that “every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth.”
Ssebuggwawo says that recognizing midwives who offered dignified care not only motivates health-workers to improve their relationship with patients but also motivate more mothers to seek maternal health services from Health facilities.
KCCA Director of Public Health and Environment Dr Daniel Okello Ayen encouraged midwives to always be respectful when attending to patients saying it is part of what makes a professional health worker. Dr Okello said the complaint regarding respectable care featured prominently in their interaction with mothers who were interviewed and asked health workers to revise their conduct.
In the same survey, Kawaala Health Center IV emerged as the best facility while postnatal units at the four facilities emerged as the best department. The winning departments where One million Shillings each while Kawaala Health Centre was awarded 1.5 million Shillings.