High population threat to maternal mortality campaign
Posted Monday, February 18 2013 at 02:06
Uganda may not attain the Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates by 2015 if the high population growth continues unchecked, health experts have warned.
Dr Margaret Mungherera, the president of the Uganda Medical Association, said the country’s current population is overwhelming, constraining scarce health resources and exposing pregnant mothers to deaths.
“Fertility rates are high partly because the population keeps getting mixed messages, especially from the political leadership and the more women that get pregnant, the more they are likely to die while giving birth,” Dr Mungherera said.
She was speaking at the opening of an international health conference under the theme, Disease Eradication: What will it take? in Kampala last Friday.
The Uganda Health Demographic Survey report shows that infant mortality is at 54 per 1,000 live births.
Dr Mungherera said Uganda was among the leading countries in the world with a high population growth rate, currently standing at 3.2 per cent.
She called for increased access to family planning and a “paradigm shift”, from emphasising curing to preventive measures.
She added that more than 75 per cent of the diseases in the country were preventable but Mulago hospital, the national referral, spent at least 40 per cent of its budget on procuring drugs.
Health Minister Christine Ondoa said the country was hindered by limited resources.