Hoima leads in maternal deaths in Bunyoro

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Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, addresses the media in Hoima City. (Photo: Gad Asaba)

Hoima has been ranked top in maternal mortality in Bunyoro sub-region, reveals the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, attributing the rate to expectant mothers who seek midwifery services from Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).

However, the physician says the high maternal death rate in Hoima is partially due to the complicated cases that are passed on to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital from other districts for higher management.

Dr Atwine says though maternal deaths are also unavoidable in the developed world, the rate at which they occur is minimal compared to the developing world; something she says needs a change of mindset by expectant mothers both in Hoima and Bunyoro in general.

The PS adds that last year’s maternal death statistics paint a queer image among expectant mothers who until now believe in TBAs that she says do not have midwifery proficiency to handle child birth complications observing that by the time the expectant mothers are referred to hospital, their chances of survival have already shrunk.

Hoima is followed by Masindi, Kagadi, Kiryandongo, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kibaale and Buliisa respectively.

Audio: Atwine on Traditional Birth Attendants (Runyankole/Rukiga)

Dr Atwine says more effort is needed to educate women in the child bearing age to always visit health units for antenatal and postnatal services in order to reduce the maternal death incident.  

She says government’s aim to establish Health Centre 3s at sub-county levels was to bring services nearer to expectant mothers, thus, urging them to use them for better maternal health.

Audio: Atwine on maternal deaths (Runyankole/Rukiga)

Over and over again expectant mothers complain about the rudeness, mistreatment and abuse that health workers met out to them whenever they seek antenatal and maternal care services from qualified personnel in government health facilities.

However, Dr Atwine encourages expectant mothers to report such cases to higher authorities. But this sounds unfeasible for them for fear of being marked, secluded and abandoned by the health workers during child birth process.

Bunyoro’s 2020 statistics of women who gave birth and those who died in the process

Region/DistrictNo. of mothers who deliveredNo. of maternal deaths
Bunyoro59,779103
Hoima13, 58650
Masindi8,50016
Kagadi97713
Kiryandongo9,50011
Kikuube10,00008
Kibaale 4,23203
Kakumiro9,36503
Buliisa3,61902
Source: Ministry of Health

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