Statistics show that at least 16 women die of pregnancy related complications every day, according to reports from the ministry of health. However, 97% get antenatal care from a skilled health worker and out of this only 60% fulfill 4 visits out of the recommended 8 visits as per the demographic research findings.
Few women come back for postnatal care and many return for immunization after six-month time. According to Dr. Mihayo
Expectant mothers have been persuaded to visit health centers for antenatal care services to reduce on the load of mothers dying in the process.
Dr. Placid Mihayo, a gynecologist and commissioner for sexual and reproductive health at the ministry of health states that, “Ideally women should visit health facilities in the first trimester or before 4 months for their antenatal care visit.
In addition, Mihayo says, when expectant mothers start antenatal early it gives doctors enough time to examine them and to make right calls in case of an emergency, and also this allows mothers complete the eight visits recommended by doctors.
Mihayo speaking to journalists, urged mothers to go for an early antenatal care to enable them receive proper counseling and guidelines as regards to Nutrition during pregnancy. Useful information on how to live her life from a trained health worker, for instance sleeping under treated mosquito net, anti- malaria medicine like; prophylaxis fansindar.
He further observed that, starting early helps mothers to find out and get to know their health status. “And incase, they are HIV positive be started on ARVs for them to live longer and healthier lives”, and also to safeguard the unborn baby from contracting HIV.
As a result of delayed medical attention many women lose their lives due to pregnancy complications. However, starting early antenatal care allows doctors to monitor the baby’s health status and also to detect any defect on the unborn baby if any.
Women who lose their lives because of pregnancy related complication delay to seek medical attention early. Antenatal care allows doctors to calculate the expected date of delivery to enable the mother plan early.
However, he says some women are disturbed by social myths, whereby they get “uncomfortable disclosing their pregnancy until it is actually visible”, and to others until 7 months and onwards that is when they seek antenatal care. This remains a challenge to the health sector.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa director general of health services points out that, expectant mothers should stop delivering under traditional birth attendant’s care. “at time we lose mothers at health facilities, but the real reason these mothers die was because they were brought when it was really late”, Dr. Mwebesa in his view.
Accordingly, 40 health center two to be redeveloped into health center three soon after renovation. Mihayo noted that, as a ministry they have received 200b Shillings to recondition 331 health centre two into HC three to reduce limited public health facilities in over 125 sub- counties across Uganda.
Men argued to stop engaging young girls below the age of 18 into sexual activities to prevent teenage pregnancies which are estimated to be 26% and rather promote family planning use which is at 28% respectively.
Dr Mwebesa also said the ministry is to procure more family planning products out of the 71b Shillings they have received from their development partners.
Similarly, 3 delays were addressed early this year as some of the factors causing maternal mortality by the ministry of health. Dr. Jessica Nsubuga Sabiiti commissioner for community health at the ministry of health points out that, the delay from home to the health facility is one of the factors leading to maternal mortality rate.
Secondly decision, some mothers take long to decide whether to deliver at a health center or find a traditional birth attendant.
In the process of reducing maternal mortality rate in the country the government through the USAID funded program provides transport to mothers in 13 districts using their bi-cycle ambulances as a means of transport.
Community health extension workers are in place educating people the value of delivering in a health center. Sabiiti further stated that, the ministry is to make sure that each center has a midwife and anesthesia personnel at each maternity health facility.
At labor time these women are given transport vouchers to easy their movement to healthy centers. They give it to them during their antenatal visits to pay for their transport fairs.
We shall keep you posted here at Flash Uganda media.