Maternal Health Situation a Worry in Yumbe.

It has been said that the joy of bringing a child into this world is incomparable to any other feeling. For some expectant women however, this joy is replaced by uncertainty when there are few or no skilled midwives to take them through childbirth smoothly. According to the United Nations, nearly 50 million babies worldwide are delivered without skilled care, and the mothers in Maracha district are among those facing the reality of that statistic.

“Maternal mortality rate in Uriama sub-county is on the increase, due to lack of a qualified midwife in Bileafe Health Center 3. As a result a sweeper is working as the midwife.” This is a message that News Hapa recently received from Anguya Moses. He also tells News Hapa that on top of the few workers, Bileafe is inaccessible to many of the residents of Uriama, as it is the only health centre in the lower part of the sub-county.

The shortage of midwives especially in rural Uganda is not a sudden occurrence but something that has been gradually escalating over the years. At an event at which midwife Esther Madudu received the REAL award in Katine district, former health minister Dr. Christine Ondoa said that midwifery training in Uganda has been overshadowed by training of comprehensive nurses, which does not effectively address the midwifery component.

A related report from Arua by Edema Christopher highlights the same problem. “Our mothers are suffering during labour,” he says.

So the question remains: will Uganda be able to achieve the fifth Millennium Development Goal, which is to improve maternal health by 2015?

- Sept. 2, 2013
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