The Speaker of Parliament, Rt.Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has appealed to the government to provide islands with boat ambulances to ease movement of women in labour and other patients.
Speaking at an Orientation Workshop of Members of the 10th Parliament on Reproductive Health Issues today, Monday, 13th June 2016 at the Imperial Royale Hotel, Kadaga rallied new MPs to join Parliament in pushing government to provide the ambulances.
“I have been pushing government to buy boat ambulances for the island constituencies. Please join me in advocating for them,” she said.
Kadaga added that there is need to have more midwives to help in the safe delivery of children.
“We currently have a shortage of 5000 midwives countrywide. There is need to have more recruited and trained to serve our people better,” she said.
Kadaga expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Health which has provided funds for the Members of Parliament to sensitise the public about family planning.
“I am happy that there is money for us to do advocacy. I encourage the Ministry to write to all MPs like the Ministry of Local Government does informing them of how much is available to carry out this health education,” she added.
The State Minister for Health designate, Hon. Sarah Opendi called on all Members of Parliament to get involved in making health a priority in the 10th Parliament.
She urged them to play a role in their constituencies in as afar as family planning and maternal health is concerned.
“Family planning is not an issue for women alone. The men should come on board and participate in this advocacy,” she said.
Opendi expressed fear over the rate of abortion which stands at 830 abortions per day in Uganda saying, “it is an alarming rate, but with education on family planning and early pregnancy, this will be curbed”.
The Acting Country Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Miranda Tabifor said that universal family planning can help to reduce maternal mortality and added that there is need to have more funds committed to it.
“We need to encourage community participation especially involvement of men as champions in education and in the use of contraceptives,” she said.
Reports from the Ministry of Health indicate that midwifery care in Uganda is constrained and that this has contributed to the high maternal mortality of 438 deaths per 100,000 live births.
It is reported that the majority of maternal and new-born deaths are due to preventable causes that can be reduced by access to midwifery care during pregnancy, at birth and immediately after birth.