Refugee mothers shun govt antenatal services

Women attend a sexual reproductive health class at Pagirinya Health Centre III in Adjumani District.  Photo | File

What you need to know:

  • According to the authorities, the refugee mothers prefer going to health facilities supported by non-governmental organisations, which offer incentives such as food supplements.

Authorities in Adjumani District have expressed concern over the growing number of refugee mothers shunning antenatal services offered in government facilities.

According to the authorities, the refugee mothers prefer going to health facilities supported by non-governmental organisations, which offer incentives such as food supplements.

The Adjumani District Health Department between July 2021 and March 2022 recorded only 17.2 percent antenatal care attendance by refugees in government health centres compared to 46.6 percent for Ugandans.

The assistant district health officer-in-charge of maternal health, Ms Pauline Idia, says it is Mungula Health Centre IV and Agojo Health Centre III that offer incentives that recorded the highest number of refugee mothers seeking antenatal care.

Ms Idia says low attendance of antenatal care in government health facilities means that the district is failing to achieve the national targets.

“The Ministry of Health set a target of 8-time attendance of antenatal care and attendance at the first visit is expected to be at 95 percent while 65 percent on the fourth visit,” she says.

Ms Mary Poni, a refugee mother who lives in Adjumani Town Council, acknowledges that she gets her antenatal services at Mungula health centre because of the incentive offered there.

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