CSOs Demand Accountability for Maternal Deaths

May 30, 2018
Silence is Deadly
June 20, 2018
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CSOs Demand Accountability for Maternal Deaths

CSOs Demand the Auditing of Maternal Deaths

On 15th May 2018, activists from various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) came together at the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) office to express their anger and concern over the high mortality rates in Uganda. Recently, we lost our sister Nuliat Nambaziira who developed postpartum complications which could have been avoided, had it not been for the negligence from medical workers at International Hospital Kampala (IHK). Activists urged the government of Uganda to audit maternal deaths in hospitals and to focus on addressing key priorities such as provision of adequate human resource, infrastructure and essential medical supplies. They noted that rampant deaths of mothers due to pregnancy related complications are preventable if the national guidelines on prevention of maternal deaths are effectively implemented. There was also a call for action for medical practitioners to provide adequate maternal health care and treatment during pre and post-delivery. Thereafter, a demonstration ensued to raise further awareness to this vice that claims far too many mothers daily.

According the International Classification of Disease (ICD)-10,  maternal death is defined as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management,”(WHO[1] 2015). Women usually die as a result of complications during and following childbirth. The major complications that account for 80% of all maternal deaths are hemorrhages 25%, infections 15%, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia 12%), unsafe abortion (13%), obstructed and/or prolonged labor 8%, and others causes associated with diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS 8% (African Journal of Economic Review, Volume IV, Issue 2, July 2016).

Enough is Enough!

While there has been a decline in maternal mortality from 524 deaths per 100,000 live births in the 2000-01 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births in the 2016 UDHS, more should be done to ensure accountability of preventable deaths.

Through our advocacy interventions, Forum for Women in Democracy has worked with community structures (Village Budget Clubs), to promote maternal health service delivery across our 14 districts of operation. Such interventions include: sensitizing women and girls in accessing antenatal and delivery services from skilled health personnel; access to maternal health information from health centers and medical personnel; utilization of family planning services; and engaging gender sensitive men in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Some of the recommended strategies to further reduce maternal mortality include:

  • Strengthening health systems to respond to the needs and priorities of women and girls.
  • Ensuring accountability to improve quality of care and equity
  • Addressing all causes of maternal mortality, reproductive and maternal morbidities and related disabilities

[1] World Health Organization

Written By:

Milly Tiwangye

Program Officer

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