By Mary Asujo
MPs have tasked Uganda’s Ministry of Finance to consider availing sufficient funds to avert incidents of mothers who dying while giving birth.
This was during a debate on a petition from Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) presented by Tororo District woman MP, Hon. Sarah Opendi who is also the chairperson of UWOPA today.
Opendi said that according to evidence from Uganda Demographic Health Survey of 2016, the maternal mortality rate in Uganda is 33 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births which is still high.
Opendi reminded the government that it has a constitutional mandate to uphold the right of women and fulfill their reproductive rights, and should actually prioritse and allocate adequate funds to this course.
“The government through the minister responsible for health should ensure that all the staff who provide maternal health care services in Uganda are fully trained and healthy facilities are properly equipped,” she added.
She also pointed out that in the past women could give birth normally and C-section was acceptable in case of complications, which is today not the case. She noted that there is need to have hotlines where women in labour report cases of corruption and negligence.
“Mothers used to give birth normally and C-section was the last option but now it is a business that every mother must be operated and motivation is that you must pay. Health workers demand for money and if you do not give them the patient may die,” Opendi explained.
Mawogola county south MP, Hon. Gorreth Namugga said decried the underfunded health budget saying that it should never be cut because when it comes to health, it’s a priority.
While Oyam District woman MP, Hon. Santa Alum said government should consider providing health facilities with all the necessary supplies.
Busiki County MP, Hon. Paul Akamba suggested that since the issue to do with handling maternal health calls for combined effort, the entire health system should be part of the subject matter.
Busia District woman MP, Hon. Hellen Auma Wandera said one of the reasons for maternal mortality rate is a result of mothers fearing to deliver from hospitals because nurses are rude so they would rather give birth at home.