WINSENGA UPDATE/BULLETIN 24.0 – Danger in Labour – Uganda’s Maternal Health Crisis

Excerpts from AllAfrica website.

From drug shortages to insufficient staff to having to pay for ‘free’ treatment, pregnant women face countless challenges. And that’s presuming they can even reach a health centre.

From her small garden in the village of Mirindi, located in the Kabale District of south-western Uganda, Precious Tumuhaise, a 27-year-old woman and mother of four, rests her weight against her efuka, a traditional hand-hoe, and glances over her shoulder at her one-year old daughter tied to her back with colourful cloth.

“Being pregnant cannot stop you,” Precious explains, as she pauses from preparing the ground to plant sweet potatoes, the staple food crop that feeds her family year round.

“You dig, you deliver at home, and days later you go back to the garden with the baby on your back,” she says with a laugh. But Precious knows all too well that giving birth in her village, a two-hour walk from the Kabale Regional Hospital, is no laughing matter.

Uganda has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that 435 women per 100,000 live births in Uganda die from preventable pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications.



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