Members of Parliament (MPs) have renewed the call to the Ministry of Health to address the escalating cases of maternal mortality in the country.
The call was made by Atkins Katusabe (FDC, Bukonjo County West). He said this is a matter of national importance. This was during a sitting of the House on Wednesday, 24 May 2023.
Katusabe said that the situation in Kasese District is worrying, with mothers dying while giving birth every day.
He called on the Ministry of Health to urgently conduct a maternal mortality audit in the district and intervene.
“Every woman who goes to a hospital to give birth, two things happen – that the mother who went to give birth goes back home in a casket or the child does not make it. Why should mothers continue to die in hospitals while giving birth?” he said.
Tororo district Woman MP, Sarah Opendi, questioned the government’s commitment towards ending maternal mortality.
She referred a petition on maternal mortality which she presented in March 2022 but has not been processed.
“At the time I presented that petition, there was an alarm from almost all parts of the country. Why should mothers die while giving birth and yet in other countries there is zero mortality?” she wondered.
She called for the expeditious disposal of petitions, saying that petitions referred to committees are time bound.
“I think something more needs to be done as to how we conduct business in this House. Matters that affect the community must be given priority,” said Opendi.
Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa appealed to the Minister of Health to visit Kasese and address the situation urgently.
“I have also heard about some harrowing deaths from Kasese. It is something we need to give serious attention to,” said Tayebwa.
According to a 2021 report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the maternal mortality rate in women aged 15-49 is 368 deaths per 100,000 live births.