Authorities in Kabale District have expressed concern over the increasing cases of maternal and prenatal mortality, urging the key players to reverse the trend.
The acting district health officer, Mr Alfred Besigensi, says in 2020, they registered 13 cases of maternal deaths and 71 cases of prenatal (around birth) deaths while in 2019, they had 10 cases of maternal mortality and 66 cases of prenatal deaths.
He adds that in 2018, cases of maternal deaths were five and those of prenatal were 41 while in 2017 maternal deaths registered were nine, and 51 perinatal deaths.
“The major causes of this was teenage pregnancy, obstructed labour, failure to attend antenatal care services, failure to utilise family planning methods and mothers attempting to deliver at their homes,” says Mr Besigensi.
Speaking at a workshop on sustaining family planning advocacy organised by Partners in Population and Development Africa regional office in Kabale on Friday, Mr Besigyensi said 9,953 pregnant women attended their first antenatal care services in 2020 although the number reduced to 5,821 at the fourth antenatal service.
He says of 9,948 pregnancies recorded from January to December 2020, teenage pregnancies were 1,346.
Ms Angela Kusiima, who works with Reproductive Health Uganda, urged different partners to lobby for funding such that health education is improved.
The Kabale vice chairperson, Ms Bridget Asiinga, called for team work to ensure all pregnant mothers go for antenatal services.
“We need to work as a team to ensure that all the pregnant mothers deliver from health centres,” Ms Asiinga said.
The Kabale District chairperson, Mr Patrick Besigye Keihwa, promised to increase the budget for family planning in the 2021/2022 Financial Year budget from Shs5 million to Shs7 million .
“I appeal to the parents to always engage their teenagers in matters of sexuality by opening up discussions with them on the dangers of early pregnancies and encouraging them to prioritise education,” Mr Keihwa said.
Kabale District principal assistant secretary James Mugisha said: “We need to involve men and Village Health Team members to encourage pregnant women to go for routine antenatal care.’’