10 December 2018

Uganda: Hospital Deliveries Double in 16 Years, Says New Survey

Photo: Daily News
Nurses assist expectant mothers in the maternity ward. Experts warn showing indiference to mothers may have bad consequences.

Kampala — The number of women delivering in health facilities has doubled in the last 16 years, the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) report reveals.

According to the survey, the number increased from 34 per cent in 2001 to 74 per cent in 2016. This has also seen the rate of maternal mortality reduce from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2001 to 336 by 2016.

The survey also indicated a general improvement in pregnant women receiving antenatal care in hospitals.

The findings for the Community Scorecard study conducted by Makerere School of Public Health in Kibuku District, were released on Thursday.

"Four or more antenatal care visits were registered leaping the number from 48 per cent in 2001 to 60 per cent in 2016 while the number of births in health facilities increased from 57 per cent in 2001 to 73 per cent in 2016," the report reads in part.

Similar survey

Last year Uganda Bureau of Statistics released a report conducted between 2011 and 2016 on the same subject, indicating that infant mortality had gone down from 54 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births in 2016.

Speaking at the dissemination of the findings, Dr Charles Olara, the director of Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health, said the positive changes have been achieved due to intervention by government and other stakeholders.

"We have had many pilots of community scorecards and there is an evaluation that is going on at the Ministry of Health and its partners to enable them institutionalise and scale up these score cards," he said.

Dr Elizabeth Ekirapa, the representative of Makerere School of Public Health, said the number of women delivering in health centres has changed because of the easy access to services especially the improvement of rural health centres. "Many stakeholders have taken up their roles to improve service delivery. The maternity wards at health centres in the rural areas have improved and now mothers can give birth safely," she said.

The scorecard project is a community level-monitoring tool that brings together services users, services providers and local governments to gather feedback on service delivery.

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