Kampala — ON October 17, Uganda will join the rest of the world in celebrating safe motherhood.
Unfortunately, two of the most important Millenium Development Goals - child and maternal health - are still a long way from realising major improvement.
These goals are aimed at reducing the ratio of child and maternity deaths globally, but there are still many issues that need to be addressed before any significant changes can be realised.
Family planning, for one, could solve a host of other problems as far as safe motherhood is concerned. If governments and all other stakeholders put their heads together and make family planning services more accessible, we could well be on our way to seeing child and maternity death numbers reduced by up to half in about 10 years time.
Availing adequate family planning services and information to the masses will reduce the rate of abortions because unplanned pregnancies would become uncommon; women would have access to professional facilities, thus would not die from childbirth related causes like bleeding or obstructed labour.
Stakeholders also need to improve the existing facilities, so that there is provision for transport for mothers from healthcentres to referral hospitals, incase of complications.
Another important thing to note is that in seeking ways to improve service delivery, the men need to be just as involved as the women. They should be partners in the programmes developed to encourage safe motherhood.
Political leaders should also be involved. They have the power and the means. Now they need to come out and take action and help change the course of events!